Music therapy helps local boy through cancer treatment

Music therapy helps local boy through cancer treatment

"He's such a flirt," Heather Gentry said about her three-year-old son Wyatt. She calls him a hoot and a ham. 

"Everybody just sees him and loves him and smiles and laughs," Heather said.  She said he's maintained this cheerful attitude through overwhelming hardship. Heather recalls one year ago. 

"It all started when his blood work was coming back irregular at the pediatrician," Heather said. "We found out he had aml leukemia." 

It was heartbreaking news for the Gentry family. 

"Ah, just devastated and didn't know what to expect. I mean, it was hard," Heather said. However, Wyatt's contentment didn't waiver. Heather said his down syndrome played a major role. 
     
"It keeps him happy, it keeps him going. He bounces back a lot faster I think," Heather said. Covenant Children's staff also helped him through his six months of treatments. 

"Wyatt received physical therapy, speech therapy, services from our child life specialists and music therapy," said Chrsitine Neugebauer with Covenant Children's Hospital. Wyatt's favorite was music. 
     
"What's wonderful about that modality for Wyatt is that it really helped him develop and maintain his skills in speech, movement and exploring," Neugebauer  said. 

"Music therapy was awesome," Heather said. She said the whole family was at the hospital supporting Wyatt. 

"We did what we could. One of us would be tired and the other one had to work. The siblings would come for every holiday," Heather said. Through the difficulty, Wyatt became an inspiration to his older siblings. 

"He makes them stronger. Watching what he went through, they just love him even more," Heather said. Now the Gentrys are celebrating news as joyful as Wyatt's personality. 

"We're in remission right now," Heather said. "He got to ring the bell for all his chemo, and he's been doing really well at home."

Heather said she is relieved and thankful. 
     
"I'm just happy we chose covenant to do this battle through," Heather said. Because Wyatt is in remission. He can take a break from treatment as long as the cancer doesn't begin to grow again. He will need to get his bone marrow tested to see if he is in complete remission, meaning there's no evidence of disease. 

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