Wyatt : Watching Every Breath

By Stephanie Weidknecht
Mommy to Wyatt
Laryngomalacia Tracheamalacia
Born in February 2022

Wyatt was born a healthy full-term baby, or so we thought. Immediately after birth, he sounded like a dog toy, and I thought “that’s a cute quirk.” Occasionally I would worry that something was wrong with him, but the lack of concern from others often made me think I might be worrying too much. However, when he was about one month old, he stopped breathing and I rushed to hospital to be told he needed emergency surgery to open his airway. It turned out my sweet boy had been suffocating the whole time. Our world crumbled right there and that’s when this rollercoaster began.

We hoped that surgery would fix it all, but that wasn’t the case. As he is growing things are just getting worse in every area possible. The number of machines we have to keep him at baseline is a difficult and scary reality for us. My home sometimes feels more like a hospital.

We are hospitalized often (nearly 10 times during his first year of life) with any type of cold because he goes into respiratory failure within minutes. Severe anxiety is my reality, with fear taking over when I hear the slightest cough or see he has a runny nose. He is severely traumatized by all of the interventions he’s required from hospitals/doctors, even at just two years old.

We had to make the decision to have a feeding tube surgically placed for Wyatt so that we could try our best to keep him at home during illness. But lately, anytime he catches a cold, it progresses so quickly that we end up spending a few days in the hospital regardless.

My dream for him is that he can one day run around with no cords attached, and that he can play with other kids and handle a typical virus without needing extra support. And time we’re in public, it’s a huge risk for him. Even at outdoor playgrounds, he typically gets sick the next day. I want to be able to allow him to play with other children without constantly leaving in the heightened state of fear that we’re going to be hospitalized because of exposure risk.

Through all of this, On Angels’ Wings has captured the most amazing moments of my family. With Wyatt’s multiple hospitalizations, I don’t get to spend that much time with my other kids due to tending to Wyatt 24/7. OAW captured the sweetest moment of all of my littles together and us as a family. It means so much to me to see them in one photo together.

Jump, run, contact OAW! The community of support they provide is incredible, and with a complex child, the sad reality is that you never know what the future holds. So, get the photos done, capture those moments, create that community, find the support.

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