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Boy Born With 2% of Brain “Does Maths, He Loves Science”

Noah Wall’s story raises intriguing questions about the relationship between the brain and the mind

Well before Noah Wall was born, his odds did not look very good. Scans showed he had developed a cyst which was destroying his brain, along with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Doctors predicted he would likely never talk, walk, or eat on his own. Five times his parents, Michelle (Shelly) and Rob, were pressed to abort him. Shelly recalls,

“It wasn’t until around the 12 week scan that they knew something just wasn’t quite right,” Shelly told The Epoch Times in a video interview. “I said, ‘Does the baby have a heartbeat?’ And they said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s all that matters to us.’”

Shelly and Rob were referred to the RVI Hospital in Newcastle, where their baby was diagnosed in utero with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, plus one more shocking revelation: the baby was missing part of his brain.

One back quarter had been destroyed filled with fluid, Shelly explained. Three weeks later, the other side was completely gone.

Doctors did not expect the baby to survive and advised the couple to consider an abortion. Having refused, Shelly said, “And I don’t want to be offered a termination every time we come to the hospital.” They were presented with the procedure a total of five times before the medics backed down.

Louise Bevan, “Mom Refused to Abort Boy Born With Only 2 Percent of His Brain–Now He Can Play Music” at Epoch Times (February 7, 2021)

By the time Noah was born he appeared to have only 2% of his brain. The hospital had placed a Do Not Resuscitate order on him and his parents had already bought a coffin for him and were arranging his funeral:

But the miracle tot was born on March 6, 2012 weighing 9lb 7oz, and mum Michelle said she cried when he took his first breath on his own – which meant he had a chance of surviving.

Shortly after he was born, an MRI scan revealed he was actually born with just two percent of his physical brain.

But he celebrated his ninth birthday earlier this month (March 6) and, despite being wheelchair bound, he told mum Michelle he hopes to be able to play football one day.

Nisha Mal, “Boy born with two per cent of his brain beats odds and celebrates ninth birthday” at Wales Online (April 4, 2021)

The alert child has many interests and ambitions even though he faces a number of surgeries. His mother told media,

“But he can tell the time, he reads, he does maths, he loves science. He can talk about the solar system. He has incredible dreams and even more incredible knowledge.”…

“It’s been an absolute joy to see him grow up and see him become the unique boy that he is,” Michelle explains.

“It’s astonishing to me how smart he is. We’ve spent a lot of time with him and every single day he does something that impresses me.

Marie Claire Dorking, “Boy born with 2% of his brain has made a remarkable recovery” at Yahoo!News (March 25, 2021)

As part of The Music Man Project, a “music education service for children and adults with a learning disability,” Noah took part in a concert at Royal Albert Hall.

It’s unclear from media counts whether Noah’s brain was absent or simply very compressed. Estimated to be about 2% at birth, it was about 80% of normal on examination when he was three years old. What is and isn’t necessary for the human brain to function can sometimes seem to be far from an exact science at present. It is sobering to think that many “Noahs” may have been deemed incapable of an assisted normal life and allowed or assisted to die.


You may also wish to read:

Some people think and speak with only half a brain. A new study sheds light on
how they do it.

and

Your mind vs. your brain: Ten things to know


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Boy Born With 2% of Brain “Does Maths, He Loves Science”