CUMBRIA, U.K. — A now four-year-old boy who is defying the odds after being born with only two percent of a brain was featured this past week in a U.K. documentary about his miraculous story.
Noah Wall first made headlines in 2014 as his mother shared about how she and her husband repeatedly refused recommendations to abort and have been pleasantly surprised at her son’s progress despite a grim prognosis.
Shelly Wall had been advised months into her 2012 pregnancy that her son had spina bifida, chromosome abnormalities and hydrocephalus. As he was not expected to survive, doctors recommended an abortion—again and again.
“We were offered termination five times,” Rob Wall recalled in the new documentary “The Boy Without a Brain.” “It was never an option for us. To me, we wanted to give Noah that chance of life.”
The couple did, however, make funeral arrangements, but on March 6, 2012, Noah was born—alive. His parents were thankful to hear his first cry.
Noah was paralyzed from the chest down and required surgery for a large hole in his back. He also had only two percent brain tissue—the rest being filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which required the implantation of a drain.
But as time went by, Noah progressed like other toddlers—talking and singing and smiling, and defying the odds.
Now, years later, doctors are now stunned to find that Noah’s brain has grown substantially and is nearly fully functional.
“We’ve had three years not knowing how long he’s going to live, so to hear his brain’s almost back to normal is beyond belief,” Shelly Wall states in the documentary. “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 just shake their head. They’re just amazed at what he can do,” she said.
Noah’s brain scans are now being used to study spina bifida, and his parents have decided to give back by donating two special wheelchairs to Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle—the same kind that Noah uses. He also uses leg braces for mobility as well.
“We know he will face more surgery,” Shelly said. “But he is such a remarkable little boy who has already come so far.”
“The Boy With No Brain” aired on Tuesday on UK television.
“They say we only use a small part of our brain, but Noah has had to learn how to use all of what little brain he was born with,” a description of the documentary reads in part. “But that’s not all he’s done. Over the past year he has done something even more remarkable—his brain has appeared to grow back.”