Local News

Mother Gets Second Chance To Give Life To Her Child

Posted November 19, 2000

— As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, the holiday is extra special for one local family. Their infant son has a fighting chance against a deadly disease. One mother plans to give her son the gift of life for the second time.

Wyatt Wood is only four months old, but he is not like other babies. His skin and eyes have a yellowish tint, and he is more fussy than most infants.

After dozens of tests and weeks of uncertainty, doctors at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill diagnosed Wyatt with biliary artresia -- a rare disease that causes cirrhosis of the liver. The disease can be deadly unless he gets a donor transplant from his mother.

"His liver's not working. It's not draining," says Billie Wood, Wyatt's mother. "I'm anxious, excited and scared. I just go through a wide range of emotions all the time."

"You never think it will happen to you, then it does." says Ray Wood, Wyatt's father.

Wood has already amassed more than $40,000 in hospital bills, which does not even include the organ transplant.

In August, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office held a fund-raising barbecue to help with the costs. However, bills are the last thing on the Wood's minds. Their top priority is having the whole family together happy and healthy for the Christmas holidays.

To help out with Baby Wyatt's expenses, there will be a yard and bake sale 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Gray's Creek School Parking Lot. The liver transplant is scheduled for next month.

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