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The little boy who refused to die: Bobby the Brave is still going strong and is now four years old

Little Bobby Webber’s parents faced an impossible decision.

After four hours of abuse at the hands of his uncle – all while his parents were on their honeymoon – seven-month-old Bobby was clinging onto life.

Doctors told Barry and Elise Webber their critically injured son stood little chance of survival – and that his life support should be turned off. 

His parents agonised over the decision, but followed the doctors’ recommendations, and after christening Bobby they switched off his ventilator.

But against all odds Bobby managed to keep breathing, and is still making remarkable progress. 

A myriad of hurdles have followed, but four years on, Bobby – who has since been dubbed Bobby the Brave because of his fighting spirit – is well and truly on the mend. 

Four years on from the tragic incident in which Bobby Webber’s parents were faced with the worst decision of their lives, the little boy continues to defy doctors beliefs

Bobby Webber suffered severe brain damage after the seven-month-old was tortured by his uncle Andrew Nolan at his Central Coast home in NSW in September 2014

Bobby Webber suffered severe brain damage after the seven-month-old was tortured by his uncle Andrew Nolan at his Central Coast home in NSW in September 2014

Bobby suffered such severe injuries that his parents, Elise and Barry, made the heartbreaking decision to switch off his life support. Bobby refused to give up and miraculously kept breathing

Bobby suffered such severe injuries that his parents, Elise and Barry, made the heartbreaking decision to switch off his life support. Bobby refused to give up and miraculously kept breathing

BOBBY’S INJURIES 

Multiple skull fractures caused by blunt force trauma

Blood pooling in his eye from being shaken so violently

Fractured vertebrae

Bruised genitalia

Bite marks on his body 

Carpet burn marks on his forehead

Shattered ankles 

His injuries were extensive. He endured multiple skull fractures from blunt force trauma, blood pooling in his eye from being shaken so violently, fractured vertebrae, bruised genitalia and bite marks on his body.

Andrew Nolan was engaged to Bobby’s aunt and had been a family friend for 12 years before the sickening attack. 

He has never admitted what drove him to abuse Bobby that day while his fiance took Bobby’s sisters to the movies.

Nolan pleaded guilty to abusing Bobby over the four hour period and was initially sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.

That sentence was increased by an additional three years on appeal. 

Andrew Nolan was engaged to Bobby's aunt and had been a family friend for 12 years before the sickening attack

Andrew Nolan was engaged to Bobby’s aunt and had been a family friend for 12 years before the sickening attack

But four years after the horrific ordeal and the gut-wrenching decision to switch off Bobby’s life support, Mrs Webber told Daily Mail Australia how he continues to exceed expectations.

‘Absolutely everything that Bobby achieves blows my mind,’ Mrs Webber said.

Bobby’s primary injuries are still the same, he was left with a traumatic brain injury and quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

He has cortical vision impairment, but isn’t blind despite initial reports suggesting otherwise, Mrs Webber said.

He lost vision completely in one eye, but can still see from his other eye, and enjoys Barney and The Wiggles. 

Mrs Webber said Bobby is high energy, and loves to be entertained, which keeps her family on their toes.

Bobby and his eight-year-old sister Olivia (left) are the best of friends, their mother Elise Webber told Daily Mail Australia

Bobby and his eight-year-old sister Olivia (left) are the best of friends, their mother Elise Webber told Daily Mail Australia

Bobby is even enrolled in a mainstream daycare two days a week now, and spends every Thursday at back-to-back therapy appointments across Sydney

Bobby is even enrolled in a mainstream daycare two days a week now, and spends every Thursday at back-to-back therapy appointments across Sydney

Bobby spent two months in hospital suffering multiple seizures and being fed by a tube as he made steady progress despite his injuries

Bobby spent two months in hospital suffering multiple seizures and being fed by a tube as he made steady progress despite his injuries

‘The hardest part is the constant position changing. He can’t sit up or crawl to get to where he wants to be, he relies on us to help him,’ she said.  

‘It never stops. As soon as Bobby wakes up, there is a lot of lifting involved. We give him his first round of medication and try to get him changed.’

‘We take him to the toilet because he’s toilet training at the moment. But he’s nearly completely toilet trained – which is amazing.’

‘It is honestly one of his biggest achievements, and it has changed so much for us as a family,’ Mrs Webber said.

‘We were told all these things, he would never do any of this stuff but here he is doing it.’

A BUDDING CHEERLEADER 

Bobby began competing with Liberty Allstars Cheerleading in 2018, in a special abilities team called Iron Heart.

Iron Heart is comprised of a number of children with varying capabilities and talents, as well as older helpers who take to the competition floor with the little ones.

Mrs Webber told Daily Mail Australia Bobby is thriving in the sport.

‘It has given him the opportunity to be in a sport, and he doesn’t feel like he’s different.’

‘He doesn’t have stigma, and he gets so much joy from being at Liberty, going out into competitions and hearing everybody clap for something that he is proud of.’

‘It has been wonderful for awareness of his body, he really responds so well to music and just the supportive environment for me, Bobby and Olivia is a blessing.’

‘There are people in that gym who were once complete strangers and are now family and friends,’ she said.

Bobby began competing with Liberty Allstars Cheerleading in 2018, in a special abilities team called Iron Heart

Bobby began competing with Liberty Allstars Cheerleading in 2018, in a special abilities team called Iron Heart

Iron Heart is comprised of a number of children with varying capabilities and talents, as well as older helpers who take to the competition floor with the little ones

Iron Heart is comprised of a number of children with varying capabilities and talents, as well as older helpers who take to the competition floor with the little ones

‘He’s in remission from epilepsy, as well,’ Mrs Webber added.

Mrs Webber hopes this diagnosis will lead to Bobby coming off some of his medication. It has been three years since his last seizure.

‘For somebody like Bobby that is amazing.’

Bobby is even enrolled in a mainstream daycare two days a week now, and spends every Thursday at back-to-back therapy appointments across Sydney.

In addition to the leaps and bounds Bobby has made physically, he recently blew doctors and his parents away at his latest cognitive therapy assessment

In addition to the leaps and bounds Bobby has made physically, he recently blew doctors and his parents away at his latest cognitive therapy assessment

Bobby and his big sister Olivia recently met with Santa for their 2018 family picture 

Bobby and his big sister Olivia recently met with Santa for their 2018 family picture 

His parents, Elise and Barry, held a bedside christening for their son after deciding to turn off his life support

His parents, Elise and Barry, held a bedside christening for their son after deciding to turn off his life support

‘Of an afternoon its all home therapy, we do home stretching every hour, followed by more medication, eye drops and then more stretching,’ Mrs Webber said. 

On Sundays, Bobby attends Liberty Allstars cheerleading in Penrith, in Sydney’s west. 

There, he works with a number of staff and student helpers, as well as his team mates, in a special abilities cheerleading team. 

The team attends a number of competitions across Sydney throughout the year and shows off all their hard work from classes, performing a series of stunts, tumbling and dance moves to music. 

2018 was Bobby’s first year trying his hand at the sport, and Mrs Webber was thrilled at his progress.

‘It has given him the opportunity to be in a sport, and he doesn’t feel like he’s different,’ she said.

Ms Webber said the siblings are 'inseparable' and described their bond as 'nothing I have ever seen before'

Ms Webber said the siblings are ‘inseparable’ and described their bond as ‘nothing I have ever seen before’

‘He doesn’t have stigma, and he gets so much joy from being at Liberty, going out into competitions and hearing everybody clap for something that he is proud of.’

‘It has been wonderful for awareness of his body, he really responds so well to music and just the supportive environment for me, Bobby and Olivia is a blessing.’

‘There are people in that gym who were once complete strangers and are now family and friends.’

In addition to the leaps and bounds Bobby has made physically, he recently blew doctors and his parents away at his latest cognitive therapy assessment.

Instead of what was once described as a profound intellectual disability, Bobby’s latest diagnosis was down-scaled to ‘moderate to severe’. 

He is also no longer classified as non-verbal.

In fact, Bobby has become well accustomed to telling his doting parents and big sister ‘no’, and Mrs Webber said his cheeky personality constantly shines through.

‘I never knew what his personality would be like but now I think he would have been just as cheeky,’ she said.

Bobby has become well accustomed to telling his doting parents and big sister 'no', and Ms Webber said his cheeky personality constantly shines through

Bobby has become well accustomed to telling his doting parents and big sister ‘no’, and Ms Webber said his cheeky personality constantly shines through

Mrs Webber said Bobby is high energy, and loves to be entertained, which keeps her family on their toes

Mrs Webber said Bobby is high energy, and loves to be entertained, which keeps her family on their toes

‘He understands everything , he’s so affectionate. He can follow instructions so beautifully.’

He and his eight-year-old sister Olivia are the best of friends, too. 

Mrs Webber said the pair are ‘inseparable’ and described their bond as ‘nothing I have ever seen before.’

‘Olivia’s empathy is far beyond any adult I have ever met. Which will serve her well. It’s unfortunate what she has had to experience but she is just incredible. She has taken on above and beyond what is expected of her.’

Bobby’s half-sister Gabby, who is now 13, lives away from the family, but regularly uses Facetime with Bobby and Olivia.  

For a family who were once told the best outcome for Bobby would ‘be for him to pass away’, the miracles that they see with Bobby’s progress day in and day out are more than they could have ever hoped for after the ordeal. 

‘Our little boy is showing us what he would have been like prior to the injury,’ Mrs Webber said.

Ms Webber said the siblings are 'inseparable' and described their bond as 'nothing I have ever seen before'

Ms Webber said the siblings are ‘inseparable’ and described their bond as ‘nothing I have ever seen before’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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