Baby Wyatt makes progress in fight against paralyzing conditionPosted: Updated:
An Upstate boy who is one of the youngest people to ever use a wheelchair on his own is continuing to reach new milestones in his recovery from a rare neurological disorder.
Wyatt was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis before his first birthday, paralyzing him from the waist down.
Wyatt's mother, Abby Banks, first spoke with FOX Carolina in November, saying the disorder changed everything about six months prior.
"In a couple of hours, he basically went from a healthy baby to a rag doll," said Banks.
The disorder is an auto immune response that attacks the spinal cord. Banks said it initially paralyzed Wyatt from the neck down.
But since then he's continued to recover and fight the disease, learning how to propel himself in a wheelchair on his own.
Wyatt now weighs 21 pounds, flashes a dangerous smile and has a mighty right tug. During arts and crafts, recess and snack time, he continues to fight the disorder. But it has not stopped him, already winning back the use of his upper body.
"He's progressing great," said Nicole Moses, an occupational therapist who works with Wyatt. "He's only been here for a couple of months and we've seen huge gains."
His arms are gaining strength and he can now commando crawl. His therapists at Hands of Hope in Greenwood said reaching, standing, pulling for him is hard work, but you can't tell by looking at his face.
"He's always smiling, he's very motivated to work hard," Moses said.
There is still one fight Wyatt has not won yet. A neuro-muscular electrical stimulator device helps contract and strengthen his leg muscles in therapy, but he still has not feeling in his legs.
But everyone is optimistic he will one day walk on his own. No matter what, his family said he's already won the biggest fight by inspiring others with a huge grin and a big fight from a little boy.
"You never want your child to be a poster child for an illness, but it brings me comfort to know there's a reason why Wyatt got sick, that something good is going to come out of this, this is a disease that people know about," said Banks.
There is a way for others to support Wyatt. His family said they have his financial costs covered now, but they are planning ahead when he gets bigger and they will have to make handicap-accessible modifications on their home.
So they are selling "Fight Like Wyatt" bracelets as a fundraiser. Click here for more info on how you can buy the bracelets and follow his progress through the family's Facebook page.
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