A seven-year-old from Cumbria has moved his foot for the first time after undergoing pioneering therapy after his parents rejected pressure from doctors to abort him.
Doctors did not expect Noah Wall, who was born with spina bifida, only 2 per cent of his brain and is paralysed from the waist down, to live more than a few days.
They advised his parents, Shelley and Rob Wall, to consider abortion on five separate occasions. But they refused, and now Noah continues to defy expectations.
But, at the age of three, his brain had grown to a remarkable 80 percent of what it should be and is now nearly fully-functional, leaving medical professionals stunned.
He is now undergoing specialised treatment – designed to alter the way the brain sends messages to his limbs.
“We were offered termination five times,” Rob told documentary, The Boy Without a Brain. “It was never an option for us. To me, we wanted to give Noah that chance of life.”
“To hear his brain’s almost back to normal is beyond belief,” Shelly Wall said. “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.”
Every year, Noah gives out hundreds of Christmas presents to staff and patients at Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle – the hospital he was born in. With more therapy, it is hopeful he will one day deliver gifts on foot.
Claire Nicholson, Noah’s consultant neurosurgeon, said in 2016: “He has surprised us through his life so far. He’s completely remarkable.”
She added that Noah teaches the medical profession that “you can’t ever know, doesn’t matter how many statistics you throw at something”.
Estimates have predicted that 80 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with spina bifida, each year, are aborted. However, pro-life campaigners are hopeful that now the surgery has been made routinely available on the NHS the number of unborn babies terminated each year will fall.