Wyatt Shaw was living it up at his uncle's wedding. The 7-year-old ring bearer from Kentucky even snagged the bride for a final dance. The next day, when he complained of a headache and an upset stomach, his family figured "he had just had too much cake," grandmother Rhonda Thompson tells the News-Enterprise. But when Wyatt had trouble waking the next morning and couldn't stand up, mom Amy Shaw grew alarmed. The second-grader was alert when he checked into a Louisville children's hospital, but he then fell into what granddad Doug Thompson calls "that deep sleep." He wouldn't wake for another 11 days. "It was horrible," Amy Shaw tells WDRB. A battery of tests, including three spinal taps, turned up no clues as to what happened. Doctors ruled out viruses, bacteria, and encephalitis, a brain infection, per the News-Enterprise.
Wyatt's condition confounded experts from the Mayo Clinic to London, where a doctor said the longest he'd seen a child sleep was 10 days, Rhonda Thompson says, adding that the doc predicted, accurately, that the boy would wake up "and nothing would ever be found." With the help of meds used for seizures, Wyatt woke last Thursday, per WDRB. He's able to drink liquids, but his speech and movement are limited. Wyatt is headed to rehab, and his doctor warns that the road to recovery will be more of a "roller coaster," Doug Thompson tells the News-Enterprise. Family friend Jade Flynn is raising funds to help the family. "Wyatt is just a spunky kid, full of life," she says. "It's heartbreaking to see them go through this." (Experts puzzled over an Italian girl's death from malaria.)