Extraordinary Arrival: Tomm Tennent, the Baby Born with Skin to Spare for a Five-Year-Old

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Remember Tomm? When he was born, he had enough skin for a 5-year-old kid. He was so wrinkled that the doctors were surprised and said they had never seen anything like it.

Tomm’s dad, Geoff Tennent, was shocked too. He said, “When he came out, I was quite shocked. I didn’t think a human, especially a little baby, could ever look like that,” in an interview with 60 Minutes Australia in 2003.

Since Tomm’s unique birth, it’s been a tough journey for him and his family. But if you see him today in 2021, it’s hard not to be moved and maybe even shed a tear…

In 1993, when Tomm Tennent was born in South East Australia, his parents quickly realized he was going to be a special baby.

Before he was born, no one knew that their boy would be called a medical mystery. But during ultrasounds, doctors saw that not everything was as it should be.

When Tomm’s parents heard this, they didn’t know if they should keep the child. Tomm’s dad, Geoff Tennent, said, “We talked about it and decided that whatever is meant to be will be. So, we went through with it.”

Even with all the tests and regular check-ups, nobody could have predicted how serious Tomm’s condition was. When his parents first saw him, they were surprised.

Tomm’s mom, Debbie Tennent, was shocked when they placed her son on her chest in the delivery room. She said, “My heart jumped to my throat, but at the same time, it was nice to pick him up and cuddle him.”

Doctors were puzzled by the boy born with too much skin. They couldn’t understand why Tomm had so much extra skin, and because of that, there was no treatment or cure. Initially, they hoped he would grow into his skin as he got older.

Because Tomm was so unique, researchers decided to spend time and money studying his case. They wanted to uncover the mystery behind his condition.

Tomm spent two and a half months in a medical center for tests and analysis. It was a big challenge for scientists because Tomm was the first child on record born with so much skin, and they didn’t have any previous cases to refer to.

It was a tough time for the Tennent family. No parent wants to spend months in the hospital with a newborn. Despite the challenges, Geoff and Debbie found strength by looking at their strong baby boy. Tomm always stayed a lovable toddler, unaware of his condition.

During this time, doctors did everything they could to figure out how to help Tomm with his medical issues. After investigating further, they found something unexpected. They noticed similarities between Tomm’s appearance and the Chinese dog breed Shar Pei. This discovery led to some important answers.

Researchers found that the level of Hyaluronic acid in Tomm’s skin was 100 times higher than normal, similar to Shar Pei puppies. For Shar Peis, these levels decrease as they grow up, resulting in a more normal skin appearance. Doctors hoped and prayed the same would happen for Tomm.

Fortunately, it did.

Tomm’s doctor, Dr. Andrew Ramsden, said the condition would probably go away as Tomm got older. And he was right.

While growing up, Tomm faced some challenges. Even though he was loved and famous in his hometown, some people teased him, especially when he started school. Some kids didn’t want to play with him.

But Tomm didn’t let this bother him. It didn’t take long for him to make many friends and become fully part of his school. During these years, Tomm still looked a bit different, though not as much as when he was born.

In 2003, someone asked Tomm if he worried about how his friends saw him. Tomm said, “Not really… because they are my friends, and they don’t really care how I look.”

He also shared with 60 Minutes that when he looked in the mirror, he saw “a kind, loving person.”

Tomm added, “Sometimes people say I look cool, sometimes they say I look really cool, and sometimes they don’t say anything.”

Certainly, Tomm’s parents have always been very proud of their special son.

“He’s a good boy” (…) All he has achieved … he is doing good at school, he is doing good at everything,” his dad said.

His parents said that they knew from the moment he was born, they would never hide him. They rightly believe that beauty comes from within, and is more than skin deep.

It’s been 28 years since Tomm amazed the doctors when he was born. After the documentaries by 60 Minutes, a lot of people were curious about how things turned out for the boy with the big smile and extra skin. However, there haven’t been many updates from traditional media.

Checking social media doesn’t provide much information about Tomm’s current life. On his Facebook, it seems like he has married the love of his life, Hannah. The couple looks happy, and they seem to live in Frankston, a suburb of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia.

One quote on Tomm’s Facebook profile captures his mindset and approach to life: “Life’s simple. You make choices, and you don’t look back.”

It’s truly wonderful to see him today, still with that same beautiful smile from 20 years ago, isn’t it?

Tomm Tennent: The baby born with enough skin to cover a 5 year old child
He had skin like a shar pei.Tomm Tennent is a baby that has made medical history. He was born with so much skin that it could cover a 5 year old child. No one knows the reason but his condition is similar to a shar pei puppy. Experts have never seen anything like this and don’t know how to treat him. Their only choice was to wait it out and see how his skin developed over 10 years.

Posted by Vitamin on Thursday, November 4, 2021

Tomm is so inspiring! I’m so happy he has a fantastic family who treated him just like any other child and that he seems to be living a happy life with his wife.

When he was asked what he would change about himself, he answered: “Probably nothing.” Isn’t that how we should all view ourselves?