Joseph and Noah Walker both suffer from Arnold-Chiari malformation, a condition where hind brain fluid leaks into the spinal canal
When Noah Walker began waking up in the middle of the night to be sick, his mum Faye knew that history was repeating itself.
The two-year-old was displaying signs of a serious neurological condition which affects his older brother Joseph.
Sure enough, tests revealed that little Noah from Flint also had rare Arnold-Chiari malformation, where spinal fluid is blocked because the brain has grown in to the space where the spinal cord passes through at the base of the skull.
Faye described the news as a “devastating blow” which caused her to break down in tears after watching seven-year-old Joseph undergo 15 operations so far.
Speaking to the Daily Post, the 31-year-old said: “We started struggling with Noah at bedtime around five months ago.
“He would be fine going down but then he would wake up in the night really unsettled. At first, we put it down to teething but then it started to feel all too familiar until he started vomiting and then I knew it was too much of a coincidence.
“Noah was already under a paediatrician because he suffers with poor weight gain and so I mentioned my concerns and asked for them to be passed on to the consultant.
“I know I must’ve come across as an over-anxious mum, but I knew all the signs because we’d been here before.
“An MRI scan was arranged and I received a phone call to say my fears were confirmed. I just burst into tears at the thought of going through all that again.”
Noah is going to Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital next week to undergo further tests and may face the same surgery as his brother before him.
Joseph’s story featured in the Daily Post in 2012 after the family refused to accept that he just had a “virus.”
At least once a week the Ysgol Croes Atti pupil would be disturbed from his sleep complaining of head pain before vomiting once and going back to bed.
By the next morning he’d return to his normal self but it would only be a matter of days before the pattern would start again.
An MRI scan later revealed he had the condition and the age of three, he was sent to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for a major operation to release the build up of pressure it was creating on his brain.
The thought of going through it all over again with Noah fills Faye and husband, James with dread.
Faye added: “It was hard telling Joseph that his little brother has the same condition.
“He got quite upset and he asked me if he’s given his baby brother his poorly, it’s heartbreaking.
“I am absolutely devastated that they are both going through this, I just wish I could take it all away from them.”
The family, who are anticipating stays at Alder Hey’s Ronald McDonald House are planning to fund raise after raising over £1,000 as a thank you for the charity’s hospitality during Joseph’s treatment.