Parents' heartbreak after their two sons die within the space of a month

Two brothers born with the same brain disorder died within a month of one another – one aged three and the other just six hours old.

Charlie and Sharon Corcoran, a couple in their 20s from Neasden in London, lost both their sons just 24 days apart last summer.

Charlie, three, and Noah, a newborn, both had polymicrogyria, a condition in which the brain does not develop properly in the womb.

Mr Corcoran said he feels like he's 'staggering through life' after the devastating loss and the couple don't know if any future children would have the same condition.

Sharon and Charlie Corcoran lost both their sons – Noah, a newborn, and Charlie, three – within a month of each other in June and July last year. Pictured, the family together during the hours before Noah died

Sharon and Charlie Corcoran lost both their sons – Noah, a newborn, and Charlie, three – within a month of each other in June and July last year. Pictured, the family together during the hours before Noah died

Noah died hours after he was born by caesarean section on June 11 last year, after doctors discovered her had both polymicrogyria and an underdeveloped heart.

And the couple's sorrow deepened just three weeks later when, on July 4, their other son, Charlie, also died after living with the brain condition. 

'Noah broke our heart into bits and Charlie took away whatever was left,' said Mr Corcoran, a 29-year-old lorry driver originally from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. 

'Ever since, we have been existing rather than living, we're empty and feel like different people, we're just trying to get through each day.

'I feel like I'm staggering through life. The hardest thing is not having our boys and having to try to live without them.'

Both Charlie and Noah were born with polymicrogyria, a genetic condition in which the folded structure of the brain forms incorrectly. 

The condition can be caused by a number of genetic defects, but Mr and Mrs Corcoran haven't been told which of them carries the gene which triggered it.  

Mrs Corcoran, 23, said: 'We'll never be the same again. Whenever I think "I don't' want to be here" I think I need to fight for them.

'It's very lonely, there are reminders of the boys everywhere. Having kids again is a difficult prospect to think of.' 

Mr and Mrs Corcoran have been tested to find out which of them carries a gene which may have triggered their sons' brain condition, but haven't been given useful results

Mr and Mrs Corcoran have been tested to find out which of them carries a gene which may have triggered their sons' brain condition, but haven't been given useful results

Noah, who died when he was six hours old (pictured as a newborn), had the brain condition polymicrogyria and an underdeveloped heart

Noah, who died when he was six hours old (pictured as a newborn), had the brain condition polymicrogyria and an underdeveloped heart

WHAT IS POLYMICROGYRIA?

Polymicrogyria is a genetic disorder which causes the brain to develop incorrectly.

It makes the brain develop an abnormally high number of folds and they grow closer together than usual.

This can interrupt nerve signals and cause various problems with the mind and body.

In milder cases the condition can lead to controllable seizures, whereas more serious cases can trigger more dangerous seizures, epilepsy, intellectual disability, and weakness or paralysis.

Experts don't know how common the condition is because it has so many potential causes which may be recorded differently.

The condition is thought to be triggered by various genetic disorders including Adams-Oliver syndrome and Aicardi syndrome.

Source: US National Library of Medicine 

The structural changes polymicrogyria causes in the brain interfere with nerves abilities to communicate and transmit signals properly.

More severe cases of the incurable condition can cause epilepsy, delayed development, speech and swallowing problems, and weakness or paralysis. 

Doctors told the couple Noah would most likely not survive the birth and, despite making it

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