Hiding behind mum or dad’s legs, observing a game rather than joining in, avoiding eye contact with others, blushing when spoken to, talking in a whisper – these can be familiar observations of a shy child.
In 1980 in America’s Bible Belt, a toddler named James Luke had tumours all over his body. An IV insertion caused a linear scar on his neck, while a tumour behind his left eye blinded him and another behind his right ear was biopsied. Twelve years later, James’ mother Kathy had given birth to two healthy children and was welcoming another son. As well as being born blind in his left eye, with a cyst behind his right ear, her newborn son had a linear birthmark on his neck.