Flooring provides ‘warmth and comfort’ for boy born with 2% brain

BORN with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, seven-year old Noah Wall from Cumbria, has continued to defy the odds and confound the medical experts. As his needs have changed over time, the family required a new floorcovering for their home and therefore opted for Forbo Flooring Systems’ Flotex Wood flocked flooring, to provide the warmth and comfort to help with Noah’s development.

Noah Wall was born with less than 2% brain and the spina bifida, which was developed in the womb, resulted in paralysis from the chest down. A shunt was fitted into his head to drain the excess fluid from his brain cavity at just 43-hours-old. Then by the age of three, scans revealed his brain had miraculously grown. And now, with almost 80% brain, Noah is able to talk, see, eat and hear, and is continuing to grow and learn - even adding surfing to his list of skills.

With the help of his family, Noah is gaining more independence every day which makes the interior spaces within his family home all the more crucial in aiding his progress.

Noah’s mum, Shelly Wall, said: ‘The most important requirement when it comes to designing spaces for Noah is that the areas need to be suitable for wheelchair use, providing a 1,500mm clear turning circle. Just as a child would run around the house, Noah wants to go fast in his wheelchair, so when it comes to flooring, it was essential the material allowed him to move freely.

‘If Noah was left to sit in his wheelchair all day, he could end up with pressure sores, which is why floor time is really important to allow him to stretch and to help him with his digestion. We needed a floorcovering that was warm, comfortable, soft and pleasant for him to lay down and play on.

‘While we were searching for new bathroom tiles, a former Forbo business area manager visited our house and noticed the existing floor was very cold, and therefore recommended we looked into Flotex. As such, we contacted Forbo to learn more about the product and a large sample of Flotex, from the HemingwayDesign collection, was sent to us, which we trialled in the kitchen for 12 months.

‘I know to most people it’s just a flooring but to us, it’s not just a flooring; it needed to be the right decision for Noah. We noticed a real difference straight away in the kitchen; it was warmer, softer and quieter and when we had visitors around, we found they’d want to stand on the Flotex rather than on the original floor! After the trial, we knew the flocked floorcovering would be the perfect solution for our home.’

Looking to create a contemporary home, the unique Flotex Wood range was selected as it brings the allure of a modern wood floor, while dampening sound and providing comfort underfoot. The Reclaimed Pine colourway, which was chosen by Noah, was installed in the sensory room. The touch of colour adds a sense of character to the space where Noah spends a lot of his time, playing, relaxing and learning. What’s more, Flotex Wood in Distressed Oak was also fitted in the hallway, through to the backroom and into the kitchen – all the spaces that Noah uses most. The Flotex Wood range brings a touch of class to any room and is a surprisingly practical floor.

Shelly added: ‘We have been chemical-free in our house for the last two years so the fact Flotex is approved by Allergy UK was a significant deciding factor for us, providing us with peace of mind that nothing grows within it. Noah’s pelvis is tilted, and he has hip dysplasia, so he had been on inhalers and steroids, while being regularly in out and of hospital in the past, but in the last two years since we stopped using cleaning products that contain chemicals, we’ve not had any of that. And now that the floorcovering is allergen- and phthalate-free, is a massive bonus for us.’

Says Forbo: ‘Thanks to its unique construction, the polyamide fibres ensure excellent sound-absorption properties and also capture allergens and fine dust from the air, all of which are effortlessly released to standard cleaning appliances, which is why Flotex has been awarded the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval. With the correct cleaning and maintenance regime, it won't harbour dust mites, contributing to a better indoor environment for all.’

Shelly continued: ‘The floor is so easy to clean. Everyday splashes and spills can be easily cleaned up, leaving the Flotex looking like new. In addition, the back garden adjoins onto the kitchen and Noah is in and out all of the time, so I’m not worried when he comes in with mud on his wheels, as it’s so easy to clean.

‘We’re so pleased with the Flotex installation. It works well for Noah and it works well for us as a family. The design is not too light nor is it too dark, it complements the rest of the interior really well. We always get comments on how beautiful the floor looks, and the velvety texture always comes as a surprise to so many. Also, I’ve not worn slippers around the house since we’ve had the Flotex installed, so I would definitely recommend having Flotex within a home.’

Commenting on the installation, Lloyd Hodson, owner of Lloyd’s Carpets said: ‘I have been installing flooring for over 30 years and have been working with Forbo’s products – and in particular Flotex – for a long time. The Flotex range is great, with a good selection of designs and colour, and it is always very easy to install. We had a team of three fitters in to complete the job and I think that Flotex is a perfect fit for Noah’s needs.’

Combining the appeal of a textile floorcovering with the practical and hygienic advantages of a resilient, Flotex is a smart floorcovering designed to enhance the performance of any interior, and it’s built to last.