Parents who were advised to abort their severely disabled baby because he was ‘unlikely’ to survive, have celebrated their son’s first birthday.
Shelly and Rob Wall even bought a coffin before the baby was born because they were told his chances of living outside the womb were so small.
But now Noah Wall has learned to move his arms, smile, wave and say ‘mama’ and ‘dada’.
Mrs Wall wants to tell their story so that mothers who are pregnant with a disabled baby won’t “give up hope”.
Noah was diagnosed with spina bifida, rare chromosomal abnormalities and fluid on the brain at Mrs Wall’s 12 week scan.
The couple were offered an abortion, but refused, wanting to give their baby a chance to live.
But Noah’s chance of survival was so low that they started to organise his funeral before he was born.
Mrs Wall said: “Before he was born we received a letter saying he would not be resuscitated if he couldn’t breathe on his own because his condition was so serious.”
“To be pregnant and have to go to a funeral parlour to pick a coffin for your unborn baby is absolutely horrible.”
When Noah was born, he took a breath and doctors decided to do all they could to help him live.
He has been back to hospital frequently, and has to be massaged five times a day along with regular physiotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions.
Mrs Wall said: “We don’t know how long he will live but we won’t put a time on him. We just enjoy every day and do as much as we can with him.”
“By telling our story we want to inspire others who are pregnant with disabled babies not to give up hope.”
“There are 900 pregnancies with spinal defects every year and only 200 babies are actually born.”