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Boy Born With 2% Of Brain Defies All Odds And Thrives

mason.zimmer 21 Feb 2019

When the news we receive is bad enough, it can be tempting to immediately consider a situation hopeless. The more issues rear their ugly heads at once, the more demoralizing the circumstances that already seemed grim feel.

However, hope is sometimes more powerful than we give it credit for being.

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And it's possible to sigh with relief on the other end of a situation that seemed impossible when it started.

If one family hasn't kept that hope alive, the world would've never had the opportunity to meet one incredible boy.

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Before six-year-old Noah Wall was born, his parents had to face a decision that was as difficult as they come.

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As his mother, Shelly, told Good Morning Britain, doctors gave her five different opportunities to terminate her pregnancy and try again.

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This was partially because the feared he would end up with, at best, half a brain.

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According to Newsweek, there were also concerns that he could turn out to be paralyzed from the chest down.

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Indeed, Noah's odds were stacked against him from a medical standpoint.

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One of the conditions that they diagnosed Noah with was spina bifida, which occurs when the spinal canal doesn't close properly. According to University College London Hospitals, this can permanently affect the nervous system, particularly in the lower half of the body.

This condition is why doctors thought Noah would be so severely paralyzed.

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Noah was also diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which means that fluid built up in his brain, enlarged his head, and put immense pressure on his skull.

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As Newsweek reported, Noah also had a cyst develop in his brain, which caused so much damage that only a small portion of it in the front of his head remained.

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However, that last 2% would end up making far more of a difference than expected.

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Noah's father, Rob, told Good Morning Britain that the couple wanted to give Noah a chance at life.

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Partly, the choice came down to their own ages.

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As he said, "We were older parents, if younger people were offered that choice they may have felt pressured to go through with it, but we know our own minds and we are positive people."

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He's said that his big goal is learning how to walk, and he has a particular desire to learn how to surf.

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He now uses a wheelchair, but according to The Daily Mail, an experimental clinic in Australia is considering accepting him into their program.

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The program combines physiotherapy with training his brain's cognitive abilities.

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As Rob said, "Usually they don't do it for children. But we are incredibly lucky to have got an assessment."

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With that decision made, Noah was born via C-section and given a double operation to close his spinal canal and drain the fluid from his brain.

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According to Newsweek, the latter part of this was accomplished by placing a shunt in his brain.

As Shelly told Good Morning Britain, this went so successfully that Noah has since recovered function in 80% of his brain.

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This means that Noah is now capable of spelling his name, writing in general, and holding a conversation.

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As Newsweek reported, he is also able to sit up without help and kneel on all fours.

But that doesn't mean he's finished with meeting new challenges.

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Shelly also hopes Noah's case will make clear the importance of taking folic acid during pregnancy.

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As Newsweek reported, she had done so, but much later than recommended because she wasn't made aware that it could help prevent spina bifida, as well as a brain condition called anencephaly.

h/t: YouTube | Good Morning Britain

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