Maple Grove Boy Copes with Crohn’s Disease
For Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, we turn our attention to the fact that about 55,000 Minnesotans deal with the inflammatory bowel disease every day. An 11-year-old boy named Wyatt Miller from Maple Grove has Crohn’s disease.
Wyatt is usually a very energetic boy who enjoys playing with his sisters and roughhousing with his two dogs. He doesn’t slow down much, but when he does, it’s usually because of Crohn’s disease.
“I just want to lay in bed all day and just not come out,” he said.
In 2016, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s. The condition causes fatigue, diarrhea, and excruciating stomach cramps.
“It’s painful like you don’t even want to move,” Wyatt explained.
Doctors put in a Nasogastric tube so Wyatt could get nutrition and not irritate his intestines. For the first 12 weeks of this regimen, he couldn’t have any food, only ice, and water. He endured this treatment for almost two years.
“It’s tough to see him at night when he’s just crying,” said Wyatt’s Dad Jeff Miller. Miller says crying isn’t because of the pain, but rather because Wyatt cannot eat.
Nevertheless, Wyatt keeps going to school and playing basketball and hockey, all with a tube in his nose.
“The first time he went to hockey it was a little bit scary, and I thought what if it comes out, what if it gets caught,” said Wyatt’s Mom Kris Miller.
Dealing with Crohn’s is mentally challenging too.
Somberly, Wyatt said, “It’s hard. It just feels like I’m different.”
“It’s at night when he’s in bed crying about it. That’s when it gets me. But I keep saying, you’re not different. Everybody has their own thing in life. Yours just happens to be Crohn’s,” said Kris.
These days, Wyatt is doing better. He’s on an IV medicine that has put his Crohn’s disease in remission. The Maple Grove resident has this advice for other children going through the same thing.
“Don’t let any of this bother you, and just try to get through it all.”
Although Wyatt is fighting a terrible disease, he’s hopeful. He attends the Minnesota Dakota Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Pediatric Support Group. Wyatt also dreams of playing for the Minnesota Wild when he grows up.