An 8-year-old boy with a rare, genetic, developmental disease has died a day after being made an honorary Marine.
Jerimiah Gillette, tells KABC-TV and the Marine Corps Times that his son, Wyatt, died Sunday.
Wyatt was honored with a formal ceremony Saturday at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, where his father serves as a drill sergeant. Video and photos of the ceremony show Wyatt dressed in fatigues and seated in his wheelchair as while being presented with a framed certificate and an official Marine Corps pin.
Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller agreed to make Wyatt an honorary Marine last week in response to an online petition. The honor is bestowed on just a few people every year.
Wyatt suffered from Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome, which caused him seizures and kidney failure.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Beth Moore says
God bless Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller for his compassionate act on behalf of a small boy. It touches the heart and renews one’s faith in humanity. And may Wyatt rest in peace. Deepest sympathy to his parents in the lost of their beloved son.
Isabelle Frankenfield says
What a wonderful and compassionate act.
Rest in Peace Marine Wyatt.
Condolences to Wyatt’s family and friends.
Carolyn Ferrante says
This is a very poignant but also inspirational story. How wonderful that this precious child was made an Honorary Marine. We wonder about these rare, genetic diseases, but we can’t seem to do too much about them. May God welcome this precious child into His kingdom of angels! (If the parents are non-believers, I apologize.)
Born in South and proud of it says
My prayers are with Wyatt’s family at this time of great loss, and bless the Marines for their gift of compassion.
Carolyn, there is woeful little research into these terrible diseases. Generally there are small numbers of people world wide afflicted with these rare genetic diseases, the medical industry won’t put forth the time and money for research because they don’t see enough of a profit margin for them. I don’t think I will ever get over the loss of my youngest daughter. She had many problems and the Lord took her home. Parents are not supposed to have to bury their children. God Bless all those that are struggling with the loss of a child or the pain and suffering they sometimes have to endure.
What a Great Idea of this to do for a child with an uncurable illness. That shows the Marines care about the people that support them. Bless the Marines and God bless America. Also be with the family in their time of loss.
…what a cutie pie…wonderful gesture…be strong parents.
What a touching act. RIP marine Wyatt. Semper Fi.and condolences to the parents and grandparents.