The nurse looked at the doctor. The copy of the scan was in her hands. Everybody in the room was eagerly anticipating the result, but she had yet to hand it back to them. She could not do anything but stand there in shock. Every person in the room felt concerned after seeing her reaction. What was going on? The nurse only snapped out of it after they called out to her. Once he understood, however, he fell into a shock as well. Was this an error? There was no way this was happening… right? How was it even possible? He had no idea how even to explain what was going on. Despite this, the parents had a right to know the truth about their child.
They Were A Happy Family
Rob and Shelley Wall were enjoying the married life. The couple came from Cumbria in Northwest England and were as happy as could be. They had two lovely girls together and enjoyed what the idyllic area had to offer. The Walls felt like they were doing a great job raising their kids. They gave them all the love and support that they needed. Even so, they could not help but feel like something was still missing.
They Wanted The Third Kid
The couple eventually decided to have one more child. It did not take long before Shelley fell pregnant yet again. They were so excited. Shelley and Rob already had two little girls, so they hoped that it would be a boy this time. He would love to bond over sports with his son since his daughters were not interested in that. However, it all changed once they went to the doctor’s office.
What The Scan Showed
They would regularly pay visits to the hospital over the course of the pregnancy. It was important to ensure that both Shelley and the baby were okay. The couple knew all of this by then. After all, this was their third time carrying a child. However, they had no idea that this would be very different this time.
Bad News For The Couple
Sadly, the next checkup did not go as anticipated. They found out that the boy inside her womb had an abnormality! The couple found out that he only had two percent of the average brain. After learning this, the couple knew what to do right away. They did not even hesitate as soon as they found out.
They Were Devastated
Rob and Shelley were both devastated. They could already tell that the quality of his life was going to be worse than usual. The doctor walked them through what to expect upon the birth of their son. The congenital disability was going to ensure that Noah would not grow brain matter. Their boy would have spina bifida, which means that the spinal cord will not form properly. The doctor, however, had a proposal.
Advised To Get An Abortion
It was a pretty radical one at that. The medical professional could not help but feel that the best course of action is to abort him. As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy to hear such a thing. No one should have to make such a challenging decision! The doctor added that their son would need around-the-clock care. Worst of all, his life expectancy would be short. What did the couple have to say about it?
Time To Make A Decision
This was a huge decision to make. As soon as they returned home, their girls welcomed them back with happy faces. Rob and Shelly could not bring themselves to share the bad news. Their children were the most important thing in the world. This was when they made up their mind to keep their little boy!
No Backing Out Now
If they had been younger, Rob and Shelley would likely have thought about the alternative seriously. But once they saw their little girls, they figured that it does not matter to them what kind of child they would have. Overall, she was advised to get an abortion five times over the course of her pregnancy. She did not budge, and her husband stood by her side. They did not plan to take back their decision!
She Made Up Her Mind
There was zero doubt in her mind whatsoever. Shelley wanted to keep the child and keep going with the pregnancy. They knew just how difficult it would be, but they did not mind. They just hoped that their little boy would be strong enough to pull through. The only time was going to tell if this were the case.
Against The Odds
She gave birth to Noah via C-section on March 6, 2012. Shelley already had an idea of what to expect. They had already warned her that he would probably be paralyzed below the chest. On top of that, it was possible that he would have other abnormalities as well. She was scared, but she was also excited to meet him for the very first time! Twelve doctors were there to ensure that the birth would go well.
Their Son Was A Fighter
As soon as Noah was born, he let out a scream. His parents took it as a sign that their little boy had arrived! One of the doctors put a shunt in his skull to get rid of the excess fluid. This also relieved the pressure on the tissue of his brain. There was nothing else to do but hope that he would be all right.
In The Early Days
The couple did not have much in the way of expectations during the early days. Rob and Shelley were just glad that they had a happy and healthy baby boy. It was a relief to see that he could breathe, drink, and eat. His brain steam was fine, but he could not move from the waist down. Luckily, this did not seem to affect how happy he was. They had no idea how he was thriving so well with so little brain.
Much Better Than Expected
They could not believe just how fast their son was developing. Before he was born, doctors told him that he was going to have serious special needs. Even so, he was doing just fine even three years later. He did not appear to be behind his peers. On top of that, Noah looked aware of what was going on and seemed emotionally intelligent as he started to talk. They knew that they had to pay a visit to the doctor.
They Wanted To Follow Up
As Noah raked in various milestones, his parents were curious to see what his brain was like now. It was time to get a second scan. The nurse returned from the next room with the results in her hand. They saw the shocked look on her face! “You’re not going to believe this,” she told them. The doctor retrieved the scans from her and peered at them with his glasses on. He looked at the documents after making sure that he could see them properly. “She’s right,” he confirmed. “I can hardly believe this.”
It Was A Medical Miracle
The couple was shocked to hear what the doctor had to tell them. Neither of them was prepared to hear what the scans showed. Noah was born with only two percent of the typical brain. They then earned that he now had more than 80 percent of it! Yes, the boy grew his brain back.
No Way To Explain It
“It’s a very emotive subject. Some people say you can’t grow a brain, some say his brain was there, all squashed up, so when he’s had his shunt fitted, it’s gone back to where it should be,” the amazed father shared with Good Morning Britain. He went on, “But if his brain was so squashed up, he should have been so severely mentally disabled.” How was this even possible in the first place?
A Theory By A Researcher
Dr. Gregory Scott is a neuroscience researcher affiliated with the Imperial College London. He said that the shunt probably gave the brain enough space to grow. However, this is nothing more than a theory as he can’t prove it. The truth is that we do not know everything about our vital organs! If you ask Shelley and Rob, the ‘how’ is not too important. They were just glad to see that things have improved for Noah.
It Is Beyond Belief
“To hear his brain’s almost back to normal is beyond belief,” said Shelly Wall. She added, “Rob and I broke down when we heard the news. It was like a dream. I’ve never known anything like it. Even the consultants were in tears. Every time we see the doctors, they shake their heads. They’re just amazed at what he can do.” Both Shelly and Rob, as well as their daughter Steph, always try to be there for him. They work to stimulate his brain and aid its growth. They call this process “brain-training.”
His Progress Is Amazing
Once Noah reached four, he could go to school, talk, read, and count to ten. Isn’t it amazing to hear that he even knows how to use a pen? It is great to see how many challenges he has overcome. He wants to be a fireman in the future. In 2017, Shelly told the Chronicle Live, “Noah’s doing amazingly well—he can write, he knows how to spell his name, he can hold a conversation.”
One Milestone After Another
“He has been chatting so much more and pronouncing his words,” the proud mother shared. “He has started writing. He can follow my finger and write his name.” She went on, “His concentration was just unbelievable with the pen. I didn’t know that this day would ever come. You can see the excitement, and he knows that he had done something amazing… he amazes us every day.”
He Has Become A Celebrity
Rob and Shelley have made another big decision. They spend all their time on the development of his brain! They even took him to a radical brain training center in Australia. The little boy wants to walk. Not only that, but he also wants to learn how to surf and ski. His story has gotten a ton of media attention over the years. It is a very uplifting story that has made others feel emotional.
Only The Best For Him
Noah is still undergoing neurophysics treatment at the moment. It is a combination of cognitive and physiotherapy exercises that involve surfing, horseriding, and possibly skydiving. They remain hopeful that he can learn how to walk. Rob said that experts do not usually give therapy to children due to the cognitive aspect of it. However, the family was lucky enough to persuade the authorities to see at least and assess the little boy. They want to prepare Noah for cognitive treatments that he can take once he is old enough. In the end, the future looks very bright for this amazing young man!
She Wants To Raise Awareness
If you look at the Hugs for Noah website, you will see that Shelley hopes his case will make others understand how important it is to take folic acid while pregnant. It can help prevent brain and spine defects like anencephaly and spina bifida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that women who want to conceive should consume about 400 mcg of it each day. “Even though I took it, I didn’t take it early enough,” she said, “No one told me just how important folic acid was.” That is not all.
A True Testament To Hope And Faith
We are not going to get into the ethical arguments about abortion. You will probably agree that this is a story of hope and resilience, no matter what you think. They told Shelley and Rob that it would be hard to take care of their son, but this did not turn out to be the case. It is not exactly easy, but they are still glad that they did not let go of him. As a matter of fact, raising Noah has been one of the most fulfilling things they have ever experienced! We are glad that their faith in him has not gone unrewarded. We hope that you have at least learned something from this unbelievable story!