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Baby Born ‘Without Brain’ Survives and Thrives

Four years ago, Noah Wall was born with little hope of survival. His parents learned that he suffered from hydrocephalus while he was in utero.  

Hydrocephalus can be broken into"hydro" meaning water and "cephalus" meaning head. “As the name implies, it is a condition in which the primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Although hydrocephalus was once known as "water on the brain," the "water" is actually cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) — a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The excessive accumulation of CSF results in an abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles. This widening creates potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain.”

Given the option to terminate her pregnancy, Noah’s mother Shelly decided to carry her son to birth just to meet him. She trusted that her time with him would be exactly what was meant to be.

Noah’s version of hydrocephalus caused him to be born with a swollen head but little to no ‘working’ brain matter due to the fluid damage. Noah’s parents were told that his life would not last long, and that if it did, the quality of that life would not be great. But his parents clung to the hope they felt when they held their breathing son for the first time. He was alive, and he wasn’t showing signs of leaving them any time soon.

And then a miracle was set into action. As this complication is irreversible, no one expected what happened next. Noah’s brain began to grow back.

While Noah was challenged developmentally, he did learn to talk and play. By age four, his brain is essentially the same as any other four year old. He suffers many challenges due to spina bifida, but Noah isn’t letting anything stand din his way!

You can learn more about Noah’s journey in an upcoming BBC documentary called ‘The Boy With No Brain.’

Modelling Toddler Noah

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