{About Noah}

Noah was born on December 19th, 2010 at 7:54 pm, a healthy 8 lbs 10 oz and 20.5″ long. He was born at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.

Everything went well until the last few dregs of labor when Noah went into distress and his heart rate dropped. He had the cord wrapped around his neck and shoulder, and that combined with an acidic placenta (6.9) and the placental abruption that had disguised itself with labor symptoms, meant that he had suffered a lack of oxygen at birth.

At 36 hours old he suffered a seizure which sent him on the road to a much bigger hospital, the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, 4 hours away from home. There he was diagnosed with HIE III (Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, grade 3). He has “subtle but diffuse ischemia involving both cerebral hemispheres and basal ganglia”, which basically means that he has tons of brain damage in both hemispheres. He was hooked up to tackle bigger than he was, and was essentially comatose.

On December 23, the doctors pronounced him “brain dead” and said that he would never walk, talk, or eat by himself. Our only options were a) to leave him on life support and he would live his life in the hospital, or b) take him off and let him pass away peacefully. We took him off of his life support the following day, Christmas Eve.

We were left with him in our tiny little room that was ensuite from the NICU. They expected him to live 6 hours, a day or two at the most. But three days later when the pediatrician that was on-call checked on him, it was discovered that he had finally developed a suck reflex! So that day, at 8 days old, he received his first oral feed.

At 10 days old, we were finally able to take him home.

Today, Noah is a happy 4 year old. He has developmental delays (he’s somewhere around the newborn – 3 month mark developmentally), and had hydrocephalus that was discovered in his follow-up MRI at two months old (but this has apparently cured itself). He has level 5 (most severe) spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy and microcephaly.

All things considered, he’s doing amazing compared to his original prognosis, and compared to other children with similar outcomes, he is on the side of “doing very well”. He holds eye contact, smiles constantly, giggles, feeds orally, and is a very easy-going child.

List of specialists/services:

  • Physio therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Speech therapist
  • Vision therapist
  • Physiatrist
  • Dietician
  • Pediatric feeding and swallowing specialist
  • Opthalmologist
  • 2 pediatricians
  • EEG and MRI (Stollery Children’s Hospital)
  • Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Early Intervention


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6 thoughts on “{About Noah}

  1. Hello Olivia, My name is Cindy, I wrote to you on baby centre but am not too sure how often you go on there. Our stories are very similar and my son is now 5 months old, I had a very good pregnancy and then everything went bad durring my labor. He was born not breathing and no heart beat. He was put on the cooling bed which is to help prevent further brain damage. He has the same thing as your son HIE and very high risk of CP his neuro says mild-moderate. I have alot of friends with babies around the same age but none that have went through what my husband and I are going through. Would love to talk more. Please email me cjobse@mymts.net or you can find me on facebook Cindy Mckague

  2. Your son is adorable!! Thank you so much for your words of support on my website. I would love to include your story there too. I think it so good for other families to see that they are not alone. I wish we were close enough to get the boys together to play!

  3. Your family is absolutely, stunningly beautiful. I love that “OMG we’re home!!” pic. What an adorable smile sweet Noah has. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have one more stranger cheering you on now. 🙂

  4. I’m a new mom and just randomly found your story when I was googling Dr. McGonigle. I’m sitting at my kitchen table crying waiting for my son to wake up from his nap. Thank you for sharing his story, and I’m so glad he’s such a happy baby. I had a perfect pregnancy and a bit of a rough labour where he got stuck and with every contraction his heart rate dropped to between 70-80. they let this go on for 7 hours until my husband demanded the c section we had been begging for. I was terrified something was going to be wrong but I was blessed and he’s perfect. I’m just so moved by your son, I just had to say so.

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