MRI machine

Boy Born Without A Brain Overcomes Incredible Odds To Live

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too good, too beautiful, or too unbelievable to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to enjoy again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little positivity to your day. This story is from February 2019.

A miracle has come in the form of a brain. One mother was told by her doctors that the child she was carrying had not developed a brain. She was recommended to terminate the pregnancy five times. However, the soon-to-be parents chose to ignore their suggestion. Noah was born with only a small percentage of his brain but, by the time he was six years old, he had grown 80% of his brain – something that many doctors do not think is possible. In 2019, he appeared with his parents on Good Morning Britain, where his story was told.

Noah, a british boy who was born with only a small percentage of his brain
Image credit: Good Morning Britain | YouTube

His brain grew after he was born

Shelley Wall already had two daughters with her husband Robb Wall, and were excited to find they were expecting their third child. From Cumbria in England, the married couple went to the doctors to see how the pregnancy was doing. Unfortunately, they were given the sad news that their baby was not developing as it should. Apparently, he only had 2% of his brain, and the doctors recommended that Shelley terminated the pregnancy. Not only did his brain not develop, but the unborn baby boy was also diagnosed with spina bifida.

Rob Wall was desperate to have a son, and he and Shelley wanted to give their daughters a brother. So, they chose to ignore the doctors’ termination suggestions. “We were older parents,” said Rob Wall. “If younger people were offered that choice they may have felt pressured to go through with it, but we know our own minds and we are positive people. So, we wanted to give Noah the chance of life.”

“The day he was born was amazing. We waited with bated breath,” recalled Shelley. There were 12 doctors in the surgery room where they performed a C-section for little Noah. Furthermore, the doctors had placed a “no resuscitation” order on Noah because the lack of brain development might result in his death. Then, Rob described how Noah screamed like any newborn baby would having just came out of their womb. “He let out this amazing scream. We knew there was power there,” said Rob.

Read: ‘A Miracle Baby’: The Black Couple Who Gave Birth to a Blond, Blue-Eyed Child

He kept on growing!

Noah Wall was born in 2012, and by the time he was six years old, he had grown 80% of his brain. In 2019, the miracle boy appeared on Good Morning America where he showed off his ability to comprehend speech. Not only that, but the host on the show asked Noah for a thumbs up, which he gladly produced with a smile on his face.

Due to his other health conditions, Noah gets around in a wheelchair. Rob Wall described how they are going to help Noah not only learn to walk, but to play various sports. Reportedly, Noah wants to learn how to surf. The family went to see specialists in neural physics in Australia. “It’s a mixture of exercise, physio therapy, and cognitive exercises,” Rob said. They were able to convince the specialists to give Noah an assessment so they could prepare for his adulthood.

They put a ‘shunt’ in his skull to make space for the brain

There are some conflicting beliefs amongst doctors. Some say that a brain cannot grow if it was underdeveloped in the womb. When Noah was born, they put a shunt in his head to drain the excess fluid that prevented the brain from developing as it should. By the time he was three years old, Noah was at the beginning stages of talking. This was far more than the doctors had predicted, who had said he would most likely never learn to speak.

The Walls took their son for another MRI scan, where they found his brain had miraculously grown, despite the odds. Now, at six years old he has 80% of his brain, which is 78% more than what he was born with. Now, the Walls strive towards seeing their son learn to walk, just like any other parents would with their healthy and fully developed children.

Keep Reading: Husband lost wife and newborn during child birth | Minutes later, both come back alive as miracle unfolds


  1. Boy born ‘without brain’ defies odds to live.NY Post. Miranda Larbi. February 20, 2019
  2. “‘I was given the option of a termination FIVE times’: Mother of boy, six, who was born with just two per cent of his brain reveals her ‘extraordinary’ son is now learning to surf after ‘it GREW back’ Daily Mail. Lara Keay. 20 February 2019
  3. Boy Born With 2% of Brain “Does Maths, He Loves Science”.” Mind Matters. April 8, 2021