All that changed nearly one year ago.
The last 12 months has been a whirlwind for Wyatt and his parents Dustin and Jacy Myhand.
After getting his vaccination shots at four months old, Wyatt had a seizure.
Then, he had another … and another.
Doctors told the Myhands that Wyatt, now 18 months old, would probably outgrow them. There was no cause for great concern.
But the seizures didn’t stop, in fact, they continued to get worse.
“He would have seizures and we would rush him to the hospital. For the first year that we were in this fight, we were swinging blindly. We didn’t know what was going on,” Dustin said.
Following a genetic test, doctors finally came up with an answer — Dravet Syndrome, a rare genetic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy.
With Dravet Syndrome, seizures are frequent and drug therapy is the only way to control them.
“It was a kick in the gut to get the diagnosis. At least we know what we are up against now,” Myhand said.
“There is a mild to severe spectrum. We went to Memphis and got a diagnosis last week that (Wyatt) is on the mild side. It’s a debilitating thing. Even on the mild side, there will be some challenges. If you see him, he’s running around fine, but if he gets any kind of illness or a fever, it triggers a seizure. That’s kind of a blessing because you can see that it may be coming. On the severe end, there are constant seizures. Wyatt typically only has them when he’s sick or has fever.”
When a seizure occurs, the Myhands, who live less than a mile from Walker Baptist Medical Center, have to get Wyatt to the hospital as soon as possible.
His seizures are managed with drugs that sometimes put Wyatt into an induced coma.
“The last time they told me they gave him four times the dosage that they would give an adult,” Dustin said.
“I can’t tell you how many times we have been saved by being so close to the hospital.”
Unfortunately Dravet Syndrome is not covered by insurance, meaning the therapies, monitoring equipment, medications and travel expenses come out of the Myhand’s pocket.
That’s where Jamie and Sam Bailey come in.
Jamie, a lifelong friend of Dustin’s, first saw Wyatt’s prognosis on Facebook.
“Jamie called me about a month ago and they wanted to do something,” Dustin said.
She got in touch with Phil Green and Greg Williams at Musgrove Country Club.
The result is the Tee It Up for Wyatt golf tournament set for Saturday at the country club golf course.
Money raised at the event will go to the Myhand’s expenses in caring for their son.
“I have been a member of Musgrove the last couple of years,” Dustin said.
“Phil and Greg really ran with it in putting this together. A lot of the members at Musgrove have been awesome.”
The tournament will have a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start.
The entry fee for the four-person scramble is $75 per player.
The entry fee includes lunch, a barbecue buffet, smoked beginning at 11:30 a.m.
For more information on the tournament, call the Musgrove Country Club golf office at 221-7902.
Funds from the tournament will be used to purchase equipment that is essential for Wyatt.
Dustin said the family is looking to buy a new monitor.
The current monitor has already helped save Wyatt’s life “a couple of times.”
There was another time that Wyatt was saved by what some would consider luck. Dustin said a higher power was involved.
“It was late May of last year and the weather radio went off. I checked the weather and it wasn’t anything major. As I got back into bed, I checked on him. He was making a grunting sound. He was having a seizure. We don’t know how long he had been having it. Had that weather radio not gone off who knows what would have happened. I’ve been a Christian all my life and I can tell you that God was in that room that night.”
Through it all, Wyatt has prevailed.
“You see him and he’s just a happy kid, always running around,” Dustin said.
“He’s the toughest little rascal you’ve ever seen. He’s really a resilient kid. He’s inspired us.”