After receiving the "wave" family now faces new challenges
Wyatt Hemphill is one of the first children to receive the now famous "wave" at the University of Iowa's Kinnick stadium. Spectators turn to the University of Iowa Stead Family children's hospital and wave to children who look down upon a roaring crowd. For his family, the moment remains one of the most important in Wyatt's recovery.
"He was so sick he couldn't get to the window so they moved the couch away and rolled his bed to the window and when they did the wave it was the first time he smiled that day," Suzanne Edwards, Wyatt's grandmother said.
Wyatt was at the hospital to receive a bone marrow transplant last May. He suffers from a rare immunodeficiency disorder that causes his immune system to shut down in an instant. His treatment at the hospital has lasted over several months and with no indication of Wyatt getting any better, there is concern.
"They have to do it all over again and having him go through that again is kind of worrisome. A lot of worry, A lot of what ifs, a lot of stress," his mother Hillary Hemphill said.
The family is now expecting a possible second bone marrow transplant causing not only concern for Wyatt but also a financial struggle. Brandon, Wyatt's dad has suffered a back injury last year that required surgery as well. A second "Wave" is badly needed but the family knows this community mirrors Wyatt's fighting image.
"I can't say enough born and raised here in Marion, Marion is a pretty tight community but we had people, cedar rapids, surrounding communities, different states.It's nice to know there is still good in the world," Edwards said.
Everyone just calls Wyatt, "Wyatt the Warrior" and that's because his demeanor and most of all his smile, helps those around him to endure the pain.
"He can go through something so terrible and immediately turn it around and to not have a care in the world and starts joking it just doesn't seem to phase him and it just brings us out of it," Hemphill said.
If you would like to help the Hemphill family you can go to their GoFundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/fjd3qs-wyatt-the-warrior
or head on over to a facebook event called Wave With Wyatt ~ Benefit Ride for Wyatt the Warrior. That ride will take place on July 14th and will benefit the family and their medical expenses.