Wilmington youth and his family took a long road to this playset


Staff report



The Koch family along with volunteers from Deckheads, who assembled the playset.

The Koch family along with volunteers from Deckheads, who assembled the playset.


Submitted photos

The playset under construction.


Submitted photos

Wyatt enjoying his new playset in his family’s yard.


Submitted photos

WILMINGTON — Wyatt Koch is an 8-year-old boy who has several rare heart defects that led to a heart transplant in August 2021.

He has historically been unable to be around many other kids in public settings due to several surgeries and high risk of COVID-19.

Last November, Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia held a raffle and cookie fundraiser and started a GoFundMe page — and raised over $2,800 for Wyatt and his little brothers to have a custom playset to enjoy, according to nurse Lauren Cupp, Chair of the Unit Practice Council for the Emergency Department.

A local decking company — Deckheads — recently constructed the playset at the Wilmington home of Wyatt’s family.

The GoFundMe page states the funds were “to raise money and to better the childhood of this magnificent child who has not one, but several very rare congenital cardiac diseases. … Wyatt is still at risk to go out to other playgrounds and is isolated to his home except the frequent hospital stays. Help us get Wyatt’s family a great place to play outside! He’s been inside too long and it’s time to be a little boy instead of a patient!”

Wyatt’s story

Wyatt Philip Koch was diagnosed with congenital heart defects at 20 weeks’ gestation by ultrasound. The diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) requires at least three surgeries over the course of the first few years of life for a chance of survival, with the first surgery being at just a few days old, according to information provided by Greene Memorial Hospital (and also on the GoFundMe page).

“After birth, it was also discovered that Wyatt had no aortic valve, and had mitral valve stenosis, pulmonary vein stenosis, TAPVR, atrial septal defects, or a circumflex aorta. Many of these diagnoses are extremely rare alone, but it is almost unheard of for a child to be born with more than one.

“We knew that a transplant was inevitable, but it always seemed like something he would need to deal with much later in life.

“In November of 2019, Wyatt, along with his parents, Mariah and Adam, and two little brothers, Owen and Everett, had to relocate to Columbus for Adam’s job taking them over an hour away from their family in Wilmington, and close to two hours from his specialists at Cincinnati Children’s. At the time, he was doing very well, and the move did not seem to be an issue.

“No one could have predicted that just a few months later the family would have to go on complete lockdown to keep Wyatt safe due to COVID. This isolated them in the small apartment that was supposed to be a temporary dwelling while Adam got settled in his new job. Mariah and Adam were forced to entertain three boys under the age 7 in very tight living quarters. They were not even able to play outside. Then the bad news just kept coming.

“During one of Wyatt’s routine visits, they found that Wyatt’s heart was failing pretty significantly. The plan was to attempt to put in an artificial valve which would hopefully last until Wyatt was well into his teens … but Wyatt’s heart did not respond well to this.

“The specialists told Mariah and Adam that his heart would not make it through the end of the year. By June 2021, he was permanently inpatient at Cincinnati Children’s while he was awaiting evaluation by doctors, specialists, and transplant teams.

Wyatt went into surgery late the night of August 2, for close to 13 hours.

“Wyatt is doing great now! His parents bought a brand new house close to their family in Wilmington with a nice big yard for the boys to enjoy. What a great surprise to come home to after being cooped up in apartments and hospital rooms!

“Wyatt has been through so much in his eight short years of life and has known so much pain. But he is not just his diagnosis. He is also a super smart, accelerated child.“

The Koch family along with volunteers from Deckheads, who assembled the playset.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/04/web1_IMG_1286.jpgThe Koch family along with volunteers from Deckheads, who assembled the playset. Submitted photos

The playset under construction.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/04/web1_building-the-playset.jpgThe playset under construction. Submitted photos

Wyatt enjoying his new playset in his family’s yard.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/04/web1_wyatt-playing.jpgWyatt enjoying his new playset in his family’s yard. Submitted photos

Staff report