Letchworth boy with rare brain defect appears on Paul O'Grady's Little Heroes

PUBLISHED: 08:30 15 October 2019

13-year-old Noah from Letchworth appearead on Paul O'Grady's Little Heroes on Thursday evening. Picture: ITV

13-year-old Noah from Letchworth appearead on Paul O'Grady's Little Heroes on Thursday evening. Picture: ITV

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A 13-year-old Letchworth boy featured on 'Paul O'Grady's Little Heroes' on Thursday evening, with the ITV programme following his journey as he underwent life-changing brain surgery.

When he was six, Noah suffered from a life-threatening brain abscess. Picture: ITVWhen he was six, Noah suffered from a life-threatening brain abscess. Picture: ITV

Noah was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital in March after being diagnosed with a chiari malformation - a rare brain defect where part of the cerebellum pushes down into the spinal cord, obstructing the flow of fluids from the brain.

Appearing on Thursday's episode of the hit ITV show, Noah was visited by Paul O'Grady as he awaited a serious operation to have part of his skull removed.

The six-part series - which is in its second season - follows the lives of brave youngsters as they undergo treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The episode also followed Noah's anxiety of hospital treatment, stemming from a previous brain operation.

Noah, 13, with his mum Georgina. Picture: Great Ormond Street HospitalNoah, 13, with his mum Georgina. Picture: Great Ormond Street Hospital

When he was six, Noah was rushed to hospital with a brain abscess - having repeatedly been told he was suffering from migraines.

Thanks to the persistence of Noah's mum, Georgina, Noah underwent a life-saving operation.

"Over the next two days I kept thinking this is more than just a migraine," Georgina said.

"So I took him back to hospital and said to the doctors I wasn't going to leave until they found out what was wrong with him.

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"By the time they got him to hospital, his heart-rate was dropping considerably."

"And I remember someone shouting 'we're losing him'."

Though he made a full recovery, the experience left Noah suffering from anxiety - and the episode followed his personal journey as he overcame his fear of treatment.

Georgina said: "At the initial meeting with Noah, the team got him to write down what he was afraid of and what he wanted from the surgery.

"They showed him everywhere he would be: the theatre, the anaesthetic room, the ward. He met everyone before his surgery to make him realise that he was looked after."

The operation was a complete success and, at the end of the programme, pizza-loving Noah was handed a takeaway pizza by Paul - with the pair sparking quite the friendship.

Seven months on, and Noah is "back and bouncing," says mum Georgina.

On Saturday, the family took part in the RBC Race for Kids at Hyde Park, which raises funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The final episode of the current series of 'Paul O'Grady's Little Heroes' airs this Thursday night on ITV at 8.30pm.

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