Everything was normal for the first few months of Wally’s life. But over the holidays he began experiencing several different infections, including ear and kidney infections accompanied by a cough and low oxygen levels. To make things worse, on top of it all severe pneumonia came into the equation. The St. Cloud Hospital was able to restore his levels back to normal for a bit, but after things got worse, the trip back to the hospital took them to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
There, he was diagnosed with Hyper-IgM Syndrome, an incredibly rare condition that essentially leaves Wally without a working immune system. He is just the third baby in six years to receive this diagnosis at Children’s. Because of his condition, besides the medical professionals caring for him, Wally is only able to see his parents and grandmother, ATS Corporate employee, Patty S. Wally’s only chance of survival is receiving a bone marrow transplant.
The good news is a 100 percent match was found in a 34-year-old man from Europe, according to Patty. The bad news is bills continue to pile up for Wally’s family. The genetic testing alone to find a match was more than $50,000, Patty said. Wally will likely have to stay in the hospital for at least another six months and it will still be touch and go for a year or more after that.
The Anderson family stepped in after hearing Wally’s story. They collected doctor bills from Patty and helped pay for some.
Having only worked for ATS about a year, Patty was brought to tears by the support her family received.
“I was beyond words,” Patty said. “It was amazing.”