Noah Wall’s chance of survival beyond birth was incredibly slim, but two years later, he’s proved the doctors wrong
Shelly and Rob Wall were ecstatic when Shelly became pregnant. But their hopes crumbled when they were told it was unlikely their son would survive.
Their unborn baby had severe spina bifida and hydrocephalus, only a very small part of his brain and other difficulties – so much so that doctors made the decision not to resuscitate him if he was born not breathing.
With this devastating news, the expectant parents had to ready themselves for their baby boy’s funeral.
Noah arrived by Caesarean at 6:17pm on 6th March 2012 weighing 9lb 7oz – and breathing on his own. He took one breath, then another – and has continued to defy the odds since that moment.
Shelly and Rob took every day as it came, unsure what was next for Noah. The spina bifida was operated on successfully shortly after he was born but his parents were told he’d be paralysed from the waist down, yet now he’s smiling, gurgling, saying a few words – and moving along the floor.
‘It’s so amazing that Noah can do basic things that we take for granted – picking something up, playing on the floor or waving at someone… things we never thought he’d do,’ says Shelly, who blogs about Noah at Hugs For Noah.
‘Giving a disabled person independence is so important, and I hope his story gives hope and inspiration to others.’
Yesterday, Noah was at Mother&Baby’s Big Heart Awards, in association with MegaBloks, to collect his award for Against All Odds Baby. Mum Shelly carried Noah on stage, where he got a round of applause and Shelly had tears in her eyes.
‘I wanted to take Noah up on stage with me because it was his day,’ she says. ‘A child without his difficulties could toddle up there by himself, so I was glad to be Noah’s legs for the afternoon.’
Noah also enjoyed cuddles with Jenny Frost and Imogen Thomas, who told us, ‘Noah was such a happy little boy when I met him. Despite his condition and story, he’s still a bundle of joy. It makes you realise how precious our babies are! It was also inspiring to see how strong his parents are and how well they cope.’
And if receiving the award wasn’t an occasion enough, Noah had a new development ‘first’ during the afternoon, too.
‘He picked up a piece of cake after choosing it from a plate,’ says Shelly. ‘Him making a decision and picking between things is something we haven’t seen him do before, so it was an incredible moment for me and Rob.’