Noah Wall recently celebrated his ninth birthday surrounded by loving family and friends.
The little boy from Cumbria, England, uses a wheelchair to get around. He’s incredibly smart and loves studying science and learning about the solar system. His life is pretty normal, which is astounding considering doctors didn’t even expect Noah to survive his birth.
His mom, Michelle Wall, was pregnant when tests revealed that her little one had spina bifida, a birth defect where the spine and spinal cord don’t form correctly. That diagnosis alone was overwhelming, but when they performed more tests, the news got worse and worse. A scan of Noah’s head showed a porencephalic cyst that was destroying his brain.
Further genetic testing revealed two separate genetic disorders, Edward’s syndrome and Patau’s syndrome, both of which are rare and have low odds of survival. Doctors recommended that Michelle terminate the pregnancy, predicting the baby would be stillborn. If he did survive, they guessed he would be in a permanent vegetative state, born deaf, blind, and paralyzed from the waist down.
As Michelle and her husband Rob continued with the pregnancy, they prayed for a miracle they never dreamed would actually happen.
On the day Noah was born, the family’s prayers were answered. He let out a huge cry the moment he appeared to let his parents know that their little guy wasn’t going down without a fight!
Scans showed that just 2 percent of Noah’s brain had survived the cyst in his skull. Seven weeks after birth, he had surgery to close the opening in his spinal column and place a shunt in his head to drain fluid away from his brain.
“It’s a very emotive subject,” Rob told Good Morning Britain. “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 — but if his brain was so squashed up, he should have been so severely mentally disabled.”
Yet Noah is not mentally disabled. In fact, he’s impressively clever! At 9, he is physically active and dreams of becoming an astronaut someday.
“They told us he might not be able to speak, hear, eat, or anything,” Michelle said. “But he can tell the time, he reads, he does maths, he loves science. He can talk about the solar system. He has incredible dreams and even more incredible knowledge.”
Noah has gone through 11 surgeries so far and there are many more to come, but he has already exceeded everyone’s expectations — in every possible way!
“It’s astonishing to me how smart he is. Every single day he does something that impresses me. He’s even started using aftershave in preparation for puberty,” Michelle said. “I’m so extremely proud of him. He’s my son. His goal in life is to run, it’s what he wants to do. I will help him all I can and always be there for him.”
Way to beat the odds, Noah! What a wonderful reminder of the importance of keeping hope alive.
Share this story to wish Noah a very happy birthday — with many more to come!
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