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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Look at you now!

A MOTHER has described how despair turned into joy after her baby son confounded doctors’ expectations.

Happy family: Michelle Wall from Abbeytown with her six-month-old son Noah. She said: ‘He smiles first thing when he wakes up and the last thing when he goes to bed’

Michelle Wall, 40, and her husband Robert found out 12 weeks into her pregnancy that their unborn son had been diagnosed with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

This meant that he would be paralysed from the chest down and there was a high chance that he would die.

The distraught couple even planned a funeral before his birth.

But now six months after he was born baby Noah is delighting his parents with his daily progress.

Michelle said: “We found out before Christmas that he had spina bifida and hydrocephalus and basically wouldn’t survive.

“The worst moment was sitting in the funeralparlour with Noah inside me having to go and pick a baby’s coffin.

“It was like talking about another baby; like it was happening to someone else.”

Spina bifida is caused when the back vertebrae overlying the spinal cord do not form fully, allowing a section of the spinal cord to protrude through.

Hydrocephalus is a condition where a large amount of water accumulates on the brain and can cause a number of complications, and in severe cases death.

But since being born in March Noah has surprised everyone. Doctors closed up his spine and after 10 days in the hospital Noah was able to come home and join his family.

Michelle, who also has two daughters, said: “After he was born we were so excited. “He has full eyesight, he’s been trying to crawl, he moves both his legs slowly and he tries to hold his head up.

“He likes laughing a lot and chatting to his sisters.

“He smiles first thing when he wakes up and the last thing when he goes to bed.”

She added: “I had actually miscarried the year before we had Noah and that shows you how much he was wanted. You should never give up – if you have got determination and positivity you can get through anything.”

Michelle said that as well as from her family and friends, a lot of support came from a less obvious source.

She is friends with Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis and she regularly writes online blogs and uses Twitter to keep followers updated. The family also received help and support from the Shine charity, who work with those with hydrocephalus and spina bifida.



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