Boy Battles Rare Heart Disease - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Boy Battles Rare Heart Disease

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BILLINGS -

Billings Clinic hasn't had a Pediatric Cardiologist on its staff until August 2013, which was when the hospital hired one.

Some families even drive 3 1/2 hours for an appointment with that doctor.

Billings Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Jeremy Archer, said that 1% of children have heart problems, and 1 in 250 people have a heart rhythm problem.

Being a kid is supposed to be easy most of the time, but that's not the case for 7-year-old, Wyatt.

"Wyatt has SVT, or Supraventricular Tachycardia, which basically means an abnormal heart rhythm comes from the top 2 chambers of the heart," Dr. Archer said.

When Wyatt would play video games, his heart rate would increase significantly, but his mom had no idea and thought he was just being a kid.

"What happens typically is that kids will feel fine most of the time, but their abnormal heart rhythm will start suddenly, and sometimes make them feel really bad. Occasionally it can be dangerous, and will usually stop on its own," Dr. Archer said.

Dr. Archer said a normal heartbeat for a child is between 60 to 100 beats per minute, but Wyatt's was off the charts, and he wasn't able to do a lot of things that would get him excited or hyped up.

Wyatt's mother, Bonnie Lewis said, "Basically it's just all of a sudden randomly his heartbeats over 200, you know, 215 beats per minute, and you can see his artery bulging out just from the blood backing up."

Dr. Archer said there were two options: medication that would make her son tired, or a $60,000 surgery in Denver.

"I felt pretty helpless honestly I didn't, I mean I prayed a lot too, and I had to just trust Dr. Archer telling me everything's going to be fine. Of the scale of things that can be wrong with your heart, this is the easiest one," said Lewis.

Lewis and her family went through with the surgery. She said Wyatt is a new young man with an even bigger heart.

Symptoms of this disease include looking pale, dizziness, and an increased heart rate after light activity.

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