A boy who was born with just two per cent of his brain has defied doctors’ predictions after his brain ‘grew back’ to 80 per cent of the average size.
The boy’s parents, Shelley and Rob Wall, were advised to terminate the pregnancy five times after doctors discovered their baby appeared to have ‘no brain’. They also discovered the baby had spina bifida, giving the unborn child very little chance of survival.
Rob and Shelley went ahead with the pregnancy however, and by the time the boy – named Noah – was three, his brain had grown to 80 per cent of the size considered typical for that age.
Dad Rob said many medics believed Noah had not developed a brain at all while in the womb, while others believed his brain had been squashed into a small space inside the skull, which was corrected when a small shunt was fitted.
Noah, now aged six, appeared on Good Morning Britain with his parents to talk about his extraordinary life so far, which host Richard Madeley called ‘a miracle’.
Rob said, per The Sun:
Even if his brain had been so squashed up, he’d be severely mentally disabled because of all that damage and look at him – he’s as bright as a button.
While the parents also spoke about the decision not to terminate the pregnancy, with Rob saying:
I think possibly if younger people were offered that choice, they may have felt pressured into taking it.
Because we’re older parents, we know our own minds and we’re positive people. We wanted to give Noah the chance of life.
Doctors initially believed Noah would be severely mentally disabled, being unable to talk, see, hear or eat. The six-year-old, however, can do all those things. Though he’s still learning to walk, Noah is already learning to surf and has hopes to ski, too.
The boy’s parents have devoted themselves to his brain development, visiting a radical brain training centre in Australia in order to get further help. While there, Noah learned how to sit up unaided and developed his love of surfing.
The treatment Noah has been receiving at the centre in Australia is called ‘neurophysics’, which mixes physiotherapy with cognitive exercises.
As Rob explained:
It’s all to do with the brain’s ability to heal or correct the body’s nervous system.
Doctors in the UK who initially treated Noah, meanwhile, have called the youngster ‘extraordinary’.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.