Wyatt is an energetic four-year-old who loves trying to keep up with his big brother and sister. He is smart, funny, and incredibly charming. He also happens to be paralyzed from the chest down and is a full-time wheelchair user. When Wyatt was just seven-months-old, life as our family knew it changed forever.
Wyatt went to sleep as a healthy baby who was reaching all his developmental milestones ahead of schedule. When he awoke the next morning, he was paralyzed from the neck down and struggling to breath. The was no warning, no fall, no sickness. He went from completely healthy to paralyzed in a matter of hours, and we had no idea why. After several days in the hospital with no improvement, Wyatt was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a one-in-a-million autoimmune disease. Wyatt’s little body literally attacked his spinal cord, and there was no cure.
We were in absolute shock and had no idea if Wyatt would ever get better. Wyatt began steroid treatments in the PICU and began to regain arm movement. After being discharged from acute care, Wyatt began extensive inpatient rehabilitation at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia. After completing his inpatient rehab at Shriners, Wyatt continued both physical and occupational therapy at home as well as completing additional inpatient rehabilitation stays at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. A follow-up MRI revealed that Wyatt has permanent damage to his spinal cord from T2-T4. In all, Wyatt spent 12 weeks in the hospital during the first year after his diagnosis.
Today, Wyatt has full use of his arms and hands and continues to receive therapy from Shriners Hospital in both Greenville, SC and Philadelphia, PA. He is active in adaptive sports. He participated in the Miracle League, adaptive surfing, wheelchair tennis, and his newest love, wheelchair basketball.
For complete details on Wyatt’s diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, please check out his story in Love Him Anyway.