Wife of Fallen Serviceman Donates Wheelchair to Paralyzed Toddler

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A little boy from Greenwood battling a rare neurological disease just received a generous gift from a donor.


Wyatt Banks is one of the youngest people ever to use a wheelchair on his own. (Credit: WHNS)

Wyatt Banks is only about 17 months old, but he already made national headlines last year when he became one of the youngest people ever to use a wheelchair on his own.

Now several months later, he has a new ride made by Box Wheelchairs. His mother, Abby Wallis-Banks, said the new chair is significantly lighter and easier for Wyatt to maneuver. She says he can now move freely on most surfaces.

“We’ve got to lock the brakes on it, or he will roll off,” said Wallis-Banks. “If he sees something he wants he goes after it.”

The chair was a gift from Wallis-Banks childhood friend who is facing her own challenges.

Simpsonville native Heather Gray started her own organization called Finish Strong Ministries after her husband, Major David Gray, was killed in action in Afghanistan in August 2012.

Gray said when she saw Wyatt’s smile she knew her husband would have wanted to help Wyatt.

“I think the two of them would be fast friends, he would love Wyatt, and to be a part of this,” said Gray.

Wyatt continues to battle a rare neurological condition called Transverse Myelitis and have documented his journey on Facebook. He has regained the use of most of his upper body after the condition left him suddenly paralyzed last year, now he continues to fight to get back the use of his lower body.