A boy born with a rare condition that could see him be killed by rain has beaten the odds to start school.
Five-year-old Noah Connell’s health issues are so rare that his collection of conditions has been dubbed ‘Noah’s Syndrome’ by doctors.
The youngster was born unexpectedly to Jade Gordon and Kieran Connell in Glasgow, in May 2017, when the parents were still teenagers – and had no idea they had a baby on the way.
Although they were delighted with their bundle of joy, Noah was born with multiple health conditions which baffled medics.
The tot has had 11 operations already and was born with part of his spine missing, an underdeveloped jaw, cleft palate, small neck and floppy airway.
He also became the first baby in the UK to have metal scaffolding inserted into his face, the Daily Record reports.
Noah also has hemifacial microsomia, which means the lower half of one side of his face is underdeveloped and means if anything gets into his mouth including water, it could kill him.
But now, Noah has flourished and achieved milestones his mum and dad – who were just 18 and 16, when he was born – thought he would never see.
And on Wednesday he will join his classmates at Kelbourne Park Primary School, Glasgow.
Mum-of-one Jade, 23, said: “The last five years have gone by in what feels like six months. It’s been dead, dead emotional, especially seeing him in his uniform.
“I have been crying and there will be tears when we wave him off because he has defied everybody’s expectations – even ourselves.
“He keeps learning to do more and more and proving everybody wrong. We are just so proud, overwhelmed with pride.”
When Noah was born at Glasgow Royal Infirmary weighing 6lb 7oz, he wasn’t breathing and was whisked away immediately for emergency treatment.
Photos of Jade at her 18th birthday party show no sign of a baby bump, despite the fact she would have been six months pregnant.
She went into hospital with stomach pains and it took doctors a few hours to spot she was in labour.
Despite everything he was going through, Jade says Noah is the “smiliest” wee boy who loves shaking hands with people he meets and is mad about Christmas, Celtic and Little Mix.
Noah’s best friend at nursery will also be in the same class at school with him and Jade says the pair are “double trouble”.
Jade said: “He is so loved. It might seem like a lot to people but this is our normal. Noah sees so many different specialists and is at hospital all the time but we’re just used to it. I wouldn’t change a single thing.”
Jade revealed that not everyone is kind towards Noah, with online trolls saying desperately cruel things about the wee boy and his family.
People often also stare when they are out in public but Jade says they do not let negativity affect them.
Jade, who was in college training to be a nursery nurse when Noah was born, said support from Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity has helped the family.
Kirsten Watson, CEO of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Starting school is such an important milestone, and we hope that Noah and all of the patients we support have a very special time at school this week.
“For 20 years our charity has supported children like Noah, and we’re incredibly grateful to the people of Glasgow for their generosity.”