Meet Ryder and Wyatt

Names: Ryder and Wyatt
Diagnoses: Enteroviral myocarditis and Coxsackie B5
Ages: 3
Favorite hospital meals: Wyatt: Pizza
Ryder: Pizza
Favorite holidays: Wyatt: Easter and Halloween
Ryder: Everything!
Favorite celebrities: Wyatt: Spider-Man and Sharkboy
Ryder: Sharkboy
If we could have any superpower, it would be: Wyatt: Superstrength
Ryder: Flying
When we grow up we want to be: Wyatt: A Superhero!
Ryder: A Superhero!
We are proud to be Children's Champions because: Wyatt: Children's took amazing care of me when I was a baby!
Ryder: We appreciate all the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff members at Children's.

Bio:

Identical twins Ryder and Wyatt are doing all the things 3-year-old boys like to do. Wyatt loves nature and wants to live in a house in the woods someday and Ryder is fearless and can climb anything. But when they were just 12 days, it was clear something wasn't right with not just one, but both twin boys.

The boys were increasingly lethargic, something their mom first attributed to their arrival at 37 weeks. But their lack of appetite and missing two feedings in a row was even more concerning, and their mom decided to call their pediatrician. He advised them to bring the boys to his office right away and it became clear later that had they not made that phone call, both boys would not have survived the night.

An ambulance arrived, ready to take Ryder and Wyatt to St. Louis Children's Hospital. From the time they stepped through the doors of the emergency room to Ryder and Wyatt being admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) was less than 30 minutes.

Wyatt had to be intubated while the team of medical professionals tried to figure out what was causing these 12-day-old babies to go into cardiac failure. Unfortunately, both Ryder and Wyatt continued to rapidly decline and required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) within 24 hours of arriving at Children's. ECMO is a temporary heart and lung machine that circulates blood and oxygen throughout the body, allowing a child's organs the chance to rest and recover.

Within a few days, Ryder and Wyatt were both diagnosed with enteroviral myocarditis caused by a specific virus — Coxsackie B5. They also were failing to make any progress. Their team of doctors found an investigational drug, contacted the Food and Drug Administration for emergency usage permission and it was granted.

Based on initial testing, doctors knew both infants had high levels of the virus in their blood. They were able to watch the virus levels decrease in their blood over time, indicating the medication was working. After 11 days, Ryder went off ECMO, and Wyatt joined him the next day. After several more weeks in the hospital, the twins were released to go home to join their parents and big sister.

They still visit The Heart Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital once a year for follow up, but they've returned to normal heart function and are no longer taking any medication. They spend their days jumping on their trampoline and using their big imaginations to not only entertain themselves but their entire family.

Donate to help more kids like Wyatt and Ryder

Because of You:

Because of a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, St. Louis Children's confirmed the twins contracted the virus after they were 24 hours old, but where is still a mystery that will never be solved. Regardless, thanks to the immense knowledge of their medical team, Ryder and Wyatt were able to fully recover with the help of an investigational medication. Dollars from donors dedicated to the Children's Discovery Institute ensure research that will lead to more precise, less harmful treatments for our patients.

Watch Ryder and Wyatt's Story: