“Wyatt’s Story: By Benjamin Wolery”
At a very early age, Kelly fell in love with the name Wyatt. So when we married in 2009, Kelly made it apparent that we would name our first son Wyatt. Wyatt, of English origin, meaning “Little Warrior”. Although we knew what we would name our son, we had no clue how he would live up to its meaning.
In 2010, Kelly and I decided to have children. We had problems becoming pregnant and decided to try in-vitro fertilization. The first attempt was a success. We were having triplets! Approximately six weeks into the pregnancy, we went to see a specialist. After an ultrasound we were told that one fetus had perished. Although distraught with the news, we continued to maintain a positive attitude. The pregnancy continued with normal doctor appointments. At week sixteen, we received more bad news. The second fetus had also perished. We were devastated. How could this be happening to us? At twenty two weeks, we were told by the Gynecologist that the surviving baby had “obvious” deformations of his head, swelling in the brain, hydrocephaly and two clubbed feet. The Gynecologist strongly recommended that we go to Arkansas for a late term abortion. We decided to get a second opinion.
Immediately, we made an appointment with a different specialist, who told us that the baby’s ventricles were enlarged and that it could cause some learning disabilities. There was no need for an abortion. We continued with weekly doctor visits and ultrasounds. During week twenty-seven of the pregnancy, Kelly could no longer feel the baby moving. Consequently, we went to the hospital and were put on a monitor. Less than 24 hours later, on the 26th of February, 2011, Wyatt was born. Wyatt weighed 1lb. 5oz. and was 12 inches long. Immediately, the medical staff took him. I remember telling them, “Please, make sure he lives.” He was immediately placed on a ventilator and wrapped in cellophane to maintain his body temperature.
The next day, the Pediatric Surgeon suggested that he perform exploratory surgery to determine a problem with Wyatt’s intestines. We were terrified. How could anyone operate on someone so small and fragile? Wyatt survived the five hour surgery, and that was when we realized the strength of his spirit. Wyatt’s stomach was not attached to his small intestine, and he had two blockages in his small intestine. In addition, Wyatt had Apple Peel Syndrome: a condition in which there is only one blood vessel supplying blood to the digestive system. The Pediatric Surgeon was able to attach Wyatt’s stomach to the small intestine and clear the blockages, but this would only be the first of many obstacles we would face.
In April 2011, more devastating news. While out of town attending a funeral, we received news that Wyatt had a seizure. We rushed home and had tests conducted. We learned that Wyatt was born with approximately one third of his brain missing and lesions throughout his brain. Conditions described as Porencephaly and Schizencephaly. We could not imagine how anyone could live with this condition and were left with thousands of questions that could not be answered.
By July 2011, we were exhausted from being in the hospital. Though we had met many great people, we were tired of watching other families come and go, so we began to pressure hospital staff into giving us a leave date. Finally, after another daunting surgery of inserting a Mic-Key button into Wyatt’s stomach, Wyatt was released from the hospital.
We first learned about the Little Light House during a therapy session with SoonerStart. Immediately, we placed Wyatt on the waiting list. We attended FLIP meetings, which exist for parents of children on the waiting list. We were overwhelmed by support and hope. All of these children were happy and donned enormous smiles. Even though we did not know these families or children well, we felt like we belonged and were accepted. We continued with FLIP for two years until we received the call that Wyatt would be attending The Little Light House.
Wyatt has been a student at the Little Light House for approximately one and a half years. Although he has had many medical setbacks and multiple lifesaving surgeries, the parents and staff at the Little Light House have been there for us through it all. Providing guidance, meals and spiritual support the parents and staff have given us everything Wyatt needs inside and outside of school. Wyatt continues to grow stronger every day with the help of the staff at the Little Light House.
Despite Wyatt’s limitations, the Little Light House accepts him with an open heart. Each day, Wyatt attends the Little Light House with staff cheering him on and working with his needs to further his development. Their multi-disciplinary staff tediously works on Wyatt’s developmental deficiencies and to improve his quality of life. Wyatt could not be happier. As I push Wyatt in his wheelchair through the doors of the Little Light House, his eyes light up with joy. Wyatt knows that his day will not be easy, but that those around him love him for who he is and only want the best for him. Wyatt returns their love with the most infectious smile of any child. Wyatt LOVES the Little Light House.