Cumbria boy born with 2% of brain undergoes operation to make him walk

A nine-year-old boy born with just two per cent of his brain hopes to learn how to walk after undergoing a five-hour operation to straighten his legs.

Noah Wall, from Cumbria, developed a rare brain condition in the womb and his parents Michelle, 49, and Rob, 55, were told by doctors he would likely never talk, walk, or eat on his own.

But the little lad is determined to follow his dream of running and eventually scoring a goal at a football stadium – and has taken his first steps to make that a reality.

Brave Noah was diagnosed with spina bifida, which is when a baby’s spine does not connect, early in the pregnancy and he would be paralysed from the chest down.

Early scans also revealed he would likely be missing a quarter of his brain at birth due to a porencephalic cyst in his head which was destroying his brain.

Noah Wall was born with just two percent of his brain
Noah Wall was born with just two percent of his brain

Tragically, a ‘do not resuscitate order’ was placed on Noah and his parents were asked five times if they wanted to terminate the pregnancy.

The distraught parents had gone through the heart-breaking process of choosing a coffin and were already arranging his funeral for their unborn baby.

But the nine-year-old boy has defied the odds and grown into a ‘brilliant young man’, and has seen his brain grow to 80 percent.

On May 19 he had a five-hour surgery at Royal Victoria Infirmary to straighten his legs and insert two plates into either foot.

Noah Wall Noah's scans at three years old where his brain went from 2 percent to 80 percent
Noah Wall Noah’s scans at three years old where his brain went from 2 percent to 80 percent

During the surgery, the brave lad lost a lot of blood and had to have a transfusion – but despite being afraid of needles a smiley Noah said he felt good afterwards.

Noah, from Carlisle, said: “I want to run first, and then I want to walk. One day I want to play football and score goals, I think that would be exciting.

“I felt good after the surgery even if it was very sore after. I have a few bruises and I don’t like needles but I feel good now.

“I have a blue plaster cast and blue is my favourite colour.

“My favourite colour is blue and my plaster is blue.”

His doctors have been amazed by his progress
His doctors have been amazed by his progress

Noah was in good spirits throughout their stay in hospital and kept the nurses entertained with knock knock jokes, according to mum Michelle.

She said the surgery was an important step towards achieving their goal of eventually having Noah run on his very own feet.

Following the surgery, he will be undergoing physiotherapy for the foreseeable future, where he will use a stander which will gradually increase in its angle to apply weight on his core.

It will be a slow process as his legs would break under pressure if he was to stand up on his own now.

But the mum-of-three said she was amazed by how positive her lad has been as anything in life is possible ‘especially with Noah’.

She said it would make the world of difference if Noah, who is currently wheelchair bound, could finally speak to people at eye level.

Mum Michelle said Noah's birthdays are an emotional reminder each year
Mum Michelle said Noah’s birthdays are an emotional reminder each year

She said: “This is the next step, but he’s just done it with a smile on his face as he always does. It’s amazing.

“He’ll be able to see people at eye level for the first time, I think we all take standing for granted. And we shouldn’t.

“And maybe one day he’ll be able to follow his dream to run.

“In life anything is possible and especially when it comes to Noah. He’s so determined and positive, it’s incredible.

“He’s just so determined to do things in life and has so much strength to do that.

“He never says I can’t, he just thinks about what he needs to do and what he needs to keep doing.”

Noah has spent his entire life since birth defying the odds, after doctors believed he would live in a vegetative state due to his condition.

Noah also had a rare condition called hydrocephalus, which is a life-threatening condition which leads to an accumulation of fluid within the brain.

As the pregnancy progressed, Noah began to develop more complications and doctors believed he may develop Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.

Noah recently celebrated his ninth birthday
Noah recently celebrated his ninth birthday

A baby with Edwards’ syndrome has three copies of chromosome number 18 instead of two, and sadly just 13 in 100 babies born alive with Edwards’ syndrome live past one.

Patau’s syndrome is a serious rare genetic disorder caused by having an additional copy of chromosome 13, and only one in 10 children with the disorder survive past a year.

Noah recently celebrated his ninth birthday and his proud mum said she was astonished by how smart he was.

Noah is a proud patron of Variety, who work with disabled, sick and disadvantaged children, as well as The Music Man Project, who put disabled children on the UK’s biggest stages.

You can find him on Instagram here or on their website here.

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Lancs Live – Cumbria