Two brothers have received help from the Darryl Worley Foundation in their battle against autism and seizures. Seven-year-old Wyatt Garrett and five-year-old Wayden Garrett recently met the singer/songwriter to thank him in person for the gift that helped them receive treatments at the Tennessee Hyperbaric Center in Jackson.
After meeting the family, Worley said, “I was blown away by the fact that these parents wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. They just kept pushing until they found something that would help their boys. Their faith and determination are great examples for all of us.”
According to the boys’ mom, Kathy Garrett, Wyatt’s seizures began when he was almost two months old. Wayden has battled seizures, also, and was diagnosed as having autism at age three. That is when he went from talking in sentences to being nonverbal.
The mom of four explained, “We had tried every treatment we could find — utilizing hospitals and testing in several states — but nothing had worked. Then we came across hyperbaric oxygen therapy on the internet.”
Garrett described how she connected with Kristi Hogg, who had sought HBOT treatments for her daughter’s mitochondrial disease before founding Mayci’s Miracle Fund to help those with special needs. Hogg, now the patient liaison at the Tennessee Hyperbaric Center (http://www.hyperbaricoxygentherapies.com), was able to answer the Garretts’ questions about HBOT.
Since insurance does not cover the cost of the treatment, the Garretts immediately began making plans for conducting fundraisers and saving money. They also applied to the Darryl Worley Foundation for assistance. The foundation approved their request and sent a check to Mayci’s Miracle Fund, a West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation fund, to help with expenses for the brothers’ HBOT. (Mayci’s Miracle Fund and The Tennessee Hyperbaric Fund of the West Tennessee Hearing and Speech Center both receive donations to help individuals receive HBOT treatments.)
In discussing the boys’ treatments, Garrett said, “We started to notice changes within the first several days. Wayden said a sentence out of the blue, and Wyatt seemed to be able to concentrate better. After the 20th of 40 treatments, we noticed that Wayden’s speech exploded. He began saying three-word sentences that were clear and meaningful, and later he started making jokes — which was huge!”
She added that soon afterward people began noticing that Wayden was making eye contact and talking to them and that his ability to concentrate was better. Wyatt’s grades improved, and his seizures stopped. She reported that in the few weeks since completing this first round of treatments, both boys have made even more progress.
The Garretts plan to continue HBOT treatments to seek additional improvements. Garrett summarized her feelings by saying, “I feel like we are a family — finally! Wayden has told us all that he loves us, and he was not able to say that before HBOT. We are indebted to those who have helped us with this treatment, especially Darryl Worley and his foundation. His down-to-earth nature and generous spirit have meant the world to us.”
While the Darryl Worley Foundation receives general donations and memorials throughout the year, most of its funding comes from Darryl Worley’s Tennessee River Run, held each September in Hardin County. This year it is planned for Sept. 13-15. Individuals can stay updated through http://www.darrylworley.com.