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Molly’s Kids: Ever heard of Friedreich’s ataxia? Asking on behalf of 12-year-old Wyatt Wise

Mom Brittany says Wyatt was your “normal wild, crazy, loving and ambitious child” until he got the flu in December of 2019. He was 10-years old at the time.
Mom Brittany says Wyatt was your “normal wild, crazy, loving and ambitious child” until he got...
Mom Brittany says Wyatt was your “normal wild, crazy, loving and ambitious child” until he got the flu in December of 2019. He was 10-years old at the time.(Provided by Family)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - September 25th was Ataxia Awareness Day. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Though this post comes two weeks late, Kannapolis mom Brittany Wise still wants to educate us all.

“On April 20th of this year, my 12-year-old son, Wyatt, was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia,” she said. “I’m sure you’ve probably never heard of it, as most people haven’t. Most people don’t even know of ataxia in general. We need this to change. We need to find a cure. I want to see my son walk and run again.”

Brittany says Wyatt was your “normal wild, crazy, loving and ambitious child” until he got the flu in December of 2019. He was 10-years old at the time.

“Three days into having the flu—on the night of December 7th—he went to sleep with a fever of 103.2,” Brittany says. “When he got up the following morning and tried to walk to the bathroom, he fell to the floor. It was only ten feet away from the bed. When he tried to get up, he said his legs didn’t work anymore.” Brittany said she knew right then something was drastically wrong.

After what seemed like hundreds of doctor visits and her son being poked and poked and poked and poked for blood samples and genetic testing at Duke Children’s Hospital for 18-months, Brittany said they finally received the diagnosis.

“Wyatt now uses a posterior walker to get around,” she said. “He goes to physical therapy every week to try to keep his ability to walk from declining more. We are currently working with insurance to get him a wheelchair for when we go on adventures, because our family loves to do things outside.”

If you Google the term “Friedreich’s ataxia” it’s listed as an inherited disorder that affects some of the body’s nerves and is caused by a gene defect inherited from both parents. Symptoms can begin in late childhood, and can “include trouble walking, fatigue, changes in sensation and slowed speech. The National Institute Of Neurological Disorders And Stroke say symptoms worsen over time.

For more medical facts, go here >> https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Friedreichs-Ataxia-Fact-Sheet

“It has been a long journey since December of 2019,” Brittany said. “I just want ataxia to be more recognized, because in today’s world it’s not.”

Welcome to #MollysKids, Wyatt. Maybe this will help a little.

-Molly

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