Introducing Wyatt’s Wellness World!

June 22nd, 2012

After almost a year of planning and with an amazing team effort, the Wyatt Leamon Foundation is proud to share with you a true labor of love. Introducing www.wyattswellnessworld.com, a health portal allowing parents to not only learn the lessons taken from the loss of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon’s story, but helping them take the steps necessary to choose safe, natural alternatives.

Wyatt's Wellness World

Wyatt’s Wellness World, BETA site launches on June 22nd, 2012 in honor of the passing of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon 4 years ago due to an adverse reaction to Amoxicillin

Wyatt’s Wellness World serves mainstream parents who are concerned about the safety of modern-day medicine and offers a three step process for an alternative path. The first step is to learn more about natural, safe ways to help the body fight sickness and disease without the use of pharmaceuticals which can have harmful side effects. The second step is to apply that knowledge when choosing all-natural health products and supplements, assisting your family in boosting health and the immune system naturally. The third and final step is to seek a second opinion (and eventually a first) from an alternative, holistic provider who practices the art of natural healing for the body (unlike your doctor and pediatric doctors).

Wyatts Welness World will accomplish this goal via its “Wellness Wire”, a collection of articles educating the public about natural and alternative causes. Couple that with a robust product catalog of all natural vitamins and supplements for sale on the site (in which all net proceeds go back to the non-profit foundation) and a business directory offering Wyatt Leamon Foundation partnered holistic health services from all over the country, and you have a one-stop shop for the first line of defense against sickness and disease for your kids and family without having to worry about the harmful side-effects of modern medicines, “drug first, ask questions later” philosophy.

The website is now open to the public in beta format which means we’re still working out the kinks, loading content and products, and signing up new natural health providers every day. But during this time, we hope to see you checking out the site, offering feedback and advice, and supporting the mission of the WLF by sharing the link with everyone you can.

On the 4th anniversary of Wyatt’s death, as the pain and memory of his tragic loss fills our hearts, I’m so thankful for the help and support from our friends, family and business partners. Being able to help others while cherishing the memory of our little “Pie Man” is about as best a situation a parent could ask for in the face of such a terrible, preventable tragedy.

Once again thank you so much for your support and please tell everyone you know about Wyatts Welness World!

The Birth of Baby Wyatt

September 3rd, 2011

You know, I’m so used to telling Wyatt’s Story, that sometimes I forget that there are other stories starring my little cowboy that aren’t quite as sad.  Take for instance the story of his birth.  Four years ago today, my little Pie Man (or “Baby Pie Pie” as we called him that day) was born and it was one of the happiest days of my life.  I still remember it very vividly.  To commemorate his 4th birthday (yes, he’d be four-years-old today, hard to believe), I’ve posted my original blog from that day as well as a couple of great videos from his first week of life.  Happy birthday little Pie Man.  –Corey

Baby Wyatt is Born

[Below is the unedited, original blog written on the day of his birth]

Wyatt is Born

Wyatt, Only a Few Days Old

After a very stressful several days of waiting until the hospital and our doctor decided to admit us, we finally made it into our room at approximately 8am on Sunday morning, September 2nd, 2007.

For most of the day, the labor process was fairly uneventful.  Trisha began around 8am and was fully dilated by 4:30pm.  I headed out for a minute (when I thought she was about 7 centimeters) and sure enough, leaving the room did the trick because just like with Parker, I was returning to the room when I received the following note from Trish:  “I’m a 10”.  Needless to say, it was showtime!

As with big brother, once it was time, things escalated quickly and it only took a couple of quick pushes to bless us with the birth of baby Wyatt who was born at 5:05pm weighing in at 8 lbs 2 ounces and measuring in at 19 ½ inches long.

There was a little tension after the birth because as expected, he had wrapped the umbilical cord around his neck 3 times (his mom joked that she realized “Wyatt” may be a very appropriate name since he seemed to wield his cord like a lasso!).  Because of the stress this caused during the birth, he had trouble transitioning to normal oxygen levels which left him very pale and short of breath.

But with quick action by the nurses and doctors, he was wheeled over to the NICU where they hooked him up to an oxygen mask and some fluids and it wasn’t long before his color was normal and his eyes were open!

In the end, all is well and both mom and baby are doing great and when Parker was able to see his brother for the first time he couldn’t take his eyes off of him!

The birth of my sons have been the most wonderful experiences of my life and it was wonderful to share the experience with my friends and family… 3 cheers for friends, family and another healthy Leamon boy… welcome to the family Wyatt Reese Leamon (otherwise known as “baby Pie-Pie”), we love you!

–Corey

Baby Wyatt’s First Video

Here is Wyatt’s first video taken the day after he was born as he slept in the hospital. He came into this world at 8lbs 2ounces and 19.5 inches in length.

Parker Loves Wyatt

Most of this footage was taken during Wyatt’s first week of life. It illustrates the almost instantaneous bond he formed with his brother Parker. The pride Parker felt in being a new big brother was truly wonderful and this footage shows that perfectly.

 

Children’s Hospital, Disneyland and Parker

September 1st, 2011

Parker at Disneyland on Wyatt's Birthday

I’m pretty sure that Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC) is NOT the happiest place on Earth.  Having had plenty of experience with hospitals over the course of being a father, I can say that this one is fairly decent.  But it sure as hell ain’t Disneyland.

We were packing our car, getting ready to take our annual trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA to commemorate Wyatt’s birthday (he would’ve been four-years-old on Friday the 2nd).  We’ve been coming to Disneyland every year at this time, including the year he passed.  This go around, however, we felt almost immediately that this would be a very different trip.  Wyatt’s older brother, Parker who just turned six a couple months ago, was clearly under the weather.  We already had concerns about his health and even had an appointment set with his doctor to test him because we were concerned about him potentially having diabetes.  But as we prepped for our trip, he began to really show signs of being sick (vomiting, lethargy, unquenchable thirst, etc.).  By the time we reached our destination, we new that it was very likely we would be spending far more time with hospital staff than we would with Mickey Mouse and friends.

Anyone who follows the Wyatt Leamon Foundation knows of Wyatt’s Story and since the events of that tragedy has taken place, our family has undergone a massive shift away from traditional Allopathic medicine and more towards a Hollistic lifestyle.  This basically consists of better nutrition, more exercise and preventative care such as Chiropractic.  It’s taken several years, and while our shift has been a positive one, its situations like this that really put it to the test.

As you can imagine, given the massive failures of the medical system that failed Wyatt, we don’t subscribe to rushing ourselves or our children to the doctor.  We believe that given the dangers (one of the leading causes of death in the United States is our medical system including drug reactions, hospital errors and misdiagnosis), going to the doctor and/or taking drugs should be a last resort.  And while we believe we’ve found a good balance between a more natural, healthy lifestyle and less reliance on Western medicine, I’m thankful to report that our parental instincts kicked in at the right time and we prevented what could’ve been another devastating blow to our family.

Parker was taken to the ER at CHOC around 9pm on Wednesday, August 31st.  He had been throwing up most of the day, was asking for water constantly and by the time we reached our hotel room, was weak and we were concerned with him becoming dehydrated.  After a few phone calls and seeing his condition worsen (his eyes literally rolled back into his head), we brought him in, ironic really given we were in Anaheim to celebrate Wyatt’s birth yet 30 days before he passed, we had gone through a similar experience.

Turns out, my beautiful little boy is going to have to manage a life-long disease.  He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and when we brought him in, he was in a state called “ketoacidosis”.  This is essentially a spiked blood sugar level that can happen to diabetics where if it isn’t treated, could lead to severe injury including coma. I cannot tell you how freaked out I am as I sit here and write at the thought of what could’ve happened to my son, only three years after we lost Wyatt.  Needless to say, the words “deep end” and “over the edge” come to mind.

But what happens now?  Well, Parker is slowly stabilizing and meeting all expectations for his treatment.  We do expect him to recover and return home soon.  Unfortunately, our Disney celebration of Wyatt’s birthday will not get a chance to take place and instead, we’ll have the pleasure of spending our vacation time in the hospital learning how this life-long disease will impact our family.  Unfortunately, just like Wyatt, he is suffering from an autoimmune disease where his immune system is prohibiting his organs from functioning properly (in this case, his Pancreas from properly regulating insulin in his bloodstream).  Ultimately, this means that he will need to manage this disease the rest of his life and if he falters, the consequences could be deadly.

Parker and Wyatt

So once again, just like after the loss of our son Wyatt, we are left with the lingering questions of, why?  Why us?  Why our children?  Why do these issues continue to haunt our family?  And of course, what of the twins, could they be next?

I am sure that one day, we’ll look back on this and realize we’ve made it past, just like we did with Wyatt.  We’ll know what it’s like to be happy again, I am positive of that.  But for now, this is a very, very sad time for our family as we experience more heartache for what is happening to our children.  It’s just so unfair, so uncalled for and to be frank, I’m so damn tired of this shit.

I do appreciate the fact that the WLF was something we pursued after Wyatt passed.  The research and education we’ve experienced since creating the WLF has taught this family that a healthy lifestyle is a better lifestyle.  And given the nature of the choices we’re already making regarding nutrition and more specifically, sugar, I’m hopeful that our family moving forward is properly equipped to handle the changes we’re going to have to make.  My plan is to document those changes here on our blog and hopefully, they will continue to help and inspire others.

In the meantime, as with Wyatt, we are being inundated with questions for how we can be helped.  I think the best thing you could do is tell Wyatt’s Story and donate to his foundation to help us support this website.  There are even no-cost things you can do to help the WLF and perhaps we will have to expand our article topics into the diabetes realm.

–Corey

P90X – My Review

August 13th, 2011

You may have heard of it.  You’ve probably even tried it.  Some of you completed it.  Regardless of where you stand in the “I’m going to try P90X” cycle, you can’t seem to go a day without seeing an ad, a Facebook status, and yes, an infomercial about the #1 selling exercise video system of all time.  P90X, where star Tony Horton quips, goofs, shakes, stretches, presses and pulls through 90 days of a body rippin’ workout.

I’ve just completed the full 90 days (well more like 110 or so) and thought I would review my experience.  But first, a step back…

Health History

My personal health history has been somewhat of a roller coaster.  A skeleton in high-school at a measly 140 lbs, I started to put on weight in college then ballooned in my 20’s to nearly 210lbs.  Over the course of a decade, I fought the 30 to 40 pound battle a handful of times.  Every time I would get down and get rid of my “fat” clothes, I’d find myself shopping again within a couple years.

It was when we lost Wyatt that I vowed I would gain control of this issue.  I just cannot describe what it feels like to hear a group of Doctors tell you that your weight may be an issue if it came down to saving your son’s life (carrying extra fat on your body affects all of your organs, and in this case both Trisha and I wanted to be “worked up” as potential live liver donors to Wyatt).  I remember standing up at Wyatt’s funeral promising that Wyatt’s story would be heard and that he would not die in vain.  But to be credible and to really back up what I wanted to say, I had to conquer those demons and one of the first things I had to do was to take my health back into my own hands.

2011 and P90X

P90X DVDsFor the better part of three years, I have maintained a fairly healthy lifestyle.  The only real hiccup was at the end of 2010 during the holidays I gained about 20 pounds worth of weight.  So in early 2011, I had heard about this “P90X” thing and set my sights on doing it during the summer when my son was out of school.  But in the meantime, I altered my diet and decided I would start “training” for it by hitting the gym and doing various forms of exercise (spin class, Zumba, weights, and core training).  By the time I got my hands on the DVD’s, I was down about 30 pounds and in fairly good shape (I will cover the diet and nutrition side of things in a future post).

I remember the first day I started P90X and while I was encouraged that I was at least able to complete the workout, it was definitely much harder than anything I had been doing up until then.  I was only able to complete two chin-ups without using a chair for assistance.  The next day was even harder as I experienced P90X’s, “Plyometrics” workout which basically has you running, jumping, lunging and squatting for an hour.  By the end of the week, I was sore as hell but definitely eager for more (except for Yoga X, as inflexible as I am, Yoga is still a very serious challenge for me).

Week after week went by and before I knew it, I was increasing all my reps, my resistance (using heavier bands) and even keeping up with the guys on the DVD during the Plyo and other cardio workouts.  I was losing inches, gaining muscle tone and even though I was already at a very good weight for my size, I even dropped a few more pounds.

The Results

All-in-all, I was able to drop another 10 pounds, lose approximately 3 inches off my waist (first time since high school/college that I’ve worn a size 32 waist and even that is feeling a bit loose), increase my flexibility (although I still have a hard time with Yoga) and most important, made huge strength and cardio gains.  For instance, in my final pull-up based workout, I did 20 unassisted chin-ups (up from 2) and 30 push ups (up from 15).  In addition, before starting I used to train on an elliptical machine on the “Cardio” program.  Before P90X, I would set it to “Level 1” with a steady jog throughout.  A recent “extra” session at the gym  on the same machine had me going at one minute sprint intervals versus a jog while at a “Level 4”.  Between P90X and my continued Zumba workouts on Thursdays, I certainly saw a ton of great results.

P90X: Corey, Before and After

A Minor Disappointment

OK, was I expecting to come out looking like Tony Horton or better yet, Mark Wahlberg in his Marky Mark days?  Nah, my body has never responded with overwhelming visible muscle growth the way some guys do.  But I did plateau pretty heavily from a weight standpoint (I hit 170 about a month in and never went below 169) so I have to question the “muscle confusion” marketing aspect of the system which is supposed to help you “blast” through plateaus.  It’s especially curious since the workouts from week-to-week are not all THAT different, even between the three phases.

Final Thoughts

Overall, what a great experience this was!  I am so proud of myself for completing the full (over) 90 days worth of P90X and with the gains I’ve made, I find myself greedy for more which means that the only new clothes I’ll be buying are going to be equal to or maybe even a smaller size!  I think probably even more exciting than some of the superficial stuff is simply the gains to my confidence, my health, the spark in my marriage (bow-chicka-bow-wow!!) to what it meant to my kids who often watched or even participated, and to the inspiration I hope to bring others in encouraging to “Bring It” with P90X or any other health and exercise transition.

Tony Horton: P90X Founder

Tony Horton: P90X Founder

Oh, and I’d be remiss to not mention this.  I freakin’ love Tony Horton.  That guy cracks me up.  He reminds me of the nerdy kid who wasn’t all that funny when he was younger but beefed up later in life and because of the extra confidence thinks he’s funny now (but he’s still kinda not).  So there’s some entertainment value in P90X as well (lots of very quotable moments).  But the cool thing about Tony is, the guy has a heart of gold.  He wants people to be healthy and succeed at making a better life for themselves and you can see the passion he has for that in his series and in his motivational techniques.  P90X has sold so well because of Tony Horton (along with some great marketing behind it).

In the end, I am proud of this journey for not only everything I listed here, but ultimately, because I’m fulfilling the vow I made to myself and to my family after we lost Wyatt.  And I’m proud that in the process, I became a fan and disciple of Tony Horton and P90X!

–Corey

Resources:

Beachbody / P90X Website – http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/p90x.do?t=p90x3b1

 

Wyatt’s World: How Wyatt’s Story is Related to our Food System

July 15th, 2011

For anyone who’s been following the WLF for a while, it’s obvious that we take issue with many of our major systems in this country, mainly those revolving around the health of our society and especially our children.  So I’d like to address some of them in a series of articles called “Wyatt’s World” which will periodically imagine a world in which Wyatt would still be here today.

So to do that, let’s take a step back and acknowledge one, very simple fact that is not debatable.  Wyatt did not have to die.

Wyatt "Pie Man" Leamon

Wyatt "Pie Man" Leamon

Wyatt was a happy healthy little boy when he had his adverse reaction to Amoxicillin and while this specific deadly reaction tends to be more rare,  this type of needless tragedy is definitely not isolated.  There are hundreds of thousands of cases just like his all over the country (check out this article from 2003 which documents the death toll from hospital failures) which logically leads me to believe that these systems are failing us.  Its’ fairly obvious that Wyatt is one of these same statistics for 2008 due to the failures of our healthcare system including the drug industry, our Pediatrician, our insurance system and our hospital system failed us miserably.  Even we as parents are to blame for blindly following the status quo (which I vow will never happen again).

And it’s not that far of a jump from what happened to us, to what is happening to our food system as well.  I will never forget when I sat down and watched “Food, Inc.” for the first time, a must view documentary on several aspects of our food system.  One of the segments that hit home for us was the segment about the family who had lost their 2-year old son to E.Coli just from eating a hamburger.  The movie points out that the strain of E.Coli that killed the young boy was a strain of E.Coli that comes directly from our industrialized food system.

It touched on several additional aspects of our food system including:

  • Food, Inc. Movie Poster

    Food, Inc. Movie Poster

    How Monsanto is suing farmers for growing their seed when their patented Genetically Modified Seed blows into that farmer’s field without their knowledge (yes, this is happening in America).  Not to mention the whole reason for the GMO seed is so the companies can spray more and more pesticides and weed killers on your food (and guess who sells the chemicals?  Yep, Monsanto!).

  • How the industrialized food system is the number one employer of illegal immigrants in this country, even advertising jobs in Mexico only to have our government crackdown on the workers, not the companies.  So by turning a blind-eye to this, the very same public who get so up-in-arms about the illegal immigration issue are essentially funding the problem by their food choices!
  • How terrible the conditions are for the animals including standing in their own feces, never seeing daylight, being so pumped full of growth hormones that they can’t even walk, etc.
  • Additional segments include information on the food-related government bodies, laws and politics (for instance, did you know the food industry has special slander laws they can sue you for?  It’s true!  Ask Oprah Winfrey!).  There’s also stuff about organic farms, how you can make a difference by “voting” with your wallet, etc.

Food, Inc. truly changed my entire outlook on how I viewed our food system and it’s just one of many sources that opened my eyes to the issue of antibiotics in the animals we eat.  Given that an allergic reaction to an antibiotic killed my son, the issue of antibiotics in our food supply is definitely something the WLF takes offense to.  The food industry has no government regulations against using antibiotics for animals and the headlines are starting to reveal signs of a very misguided policy indeed with the rise of Superbugs that are immune to the use of antibiotics.

I can only imagine what the world would look like if we hadn’t been ignorant to the ideas presented in Food, Inc. and other natural, holistic methods of healthcare.  It would be a world where Wyatt  would’ve been eating organic, healthy foods as soon as he was done breastfeeding.  His immune system would’ve been stronger, and the cold that led to his ear infection would’ve been fought off naturally without needing a prescription, perhaps from the help of his Chiropractor.  It would be a world where “Superbugs” would be the title of some cheesy B-movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and the idea of E.Coli outbreaks would be completely unheard of.  It would also be a world where a farmer could not be sued by a corporation for patenting the gene of a plant that has inadvertantly blown onto his farm.  Where he could provide natural, chemical and drug-free food from plants and animals treated ethically, without fear of government or corporate retaliation.

That’s the world I’d like to start seeing today, how about you?

–Corey

Resources:

Food, Inc. Official Movie Websitehttp://www.foodincmovie.com/about-the-film.php (and rent or stream the movie on Netflix (www.netflix.com)

Death by Medicine, Part 1http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/11/26/death-by-medicine-part-one.aspx

The Rise of Superbugs: Time to End a Decades Long Problemhttp://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/06/the-rise-of-superbugs-time-to-end-a-decades-long-problem/240718/

 

 

Introducing “Trisha’s Promise”, a WLF Original Health Series

July 6th, 2011

I’m proud to introduce a new segment on the WLF blog called “Trisha’s Promise”, a series of articles written from my wife (Wyatt’s mom) Trisha who will chronicle her journey to better health for both her and her family.  This will be a very intimate look into how Trisha delivers on her promise to friends and family at Wyatt’s funeral service to better her health so as to never feel as helpless as she felt in the hospital when Wyatt’s doctors nearly refused to consider her as a liver donor to save her sons life due to her weight.

While the exact content of this blog is unplanned and will unfold in real-time, I think you can expect to find the ups-and-downs of an average stay-at-home mom attempting to improve her health using what we’ve learned since Wyatt passed away which includes emphasis on healthy foods, exercise, preventative care and more.    It’s taken several years since Wyatt’s passing for Trisha to find the right time to move forward with her promise but we’re happy and excited that the time has come and we could share this journey with our WLF family.

So stay tuned for Trisha’s first entry of the “Trisha’s Promise” series of articles and we invite you to join us on the journey via Facebook and/or Twitter.

–Corey

Remember Pie Man on the 3rd Anniversary of his Death

June 22nd, 2011

My family and I would like to cordially invite you to a viewing of “Slice of Life with Pie Man”, a 30-minute movie that tells the story of how our little boy touched the hearts of his family, even within such a short period of time.  The story is told through personal video footage of Wyatt with his family as they celebrate good times, holidays and find plenty of reasons to laugh and play together.

I created this film in hopes of capturing the good memories at a time where our experience at the hospital was so dominating, especially in the year after he passed.

So now we invite you to watch and remember Wyatt as he should be remembered, full of life, full of love and full of laughter.  So without further ado, please visit the page we’ve dedicated to the film, Slice of Life with Pie Man.

Sincerely,

–Corey

New @WLFWorld Twitter Account!

June 22nd, 2011

I’d like to invite all my @Leamonade followers to migrate over to the new, @WLFWorld Twitter account to continue to follow the WLF! When I first launched the WLF splash screen on www.wyattsleamonadestand.com, I wanted to allow people to stay up-to-date on the progression of the WLF and was able to do so through my own personal twitter account. But now it’s time for the WLF to have its own twitter feed and my @Leamonade account will follow a more personal, zany flavor of my humor and feelings. You are obviously welcome to continue to follow me there but just know that the info and links you receive from the WLF will taper off over the next few days.

So if you want to continue to follow the WLF, please take a moment to visit our Social Media page and follow us on our new @WLFWorld Twitter account!

Thanks!

–Corey

Introducing the Wyatt Leamon Foundation!

June 22nd, 2011

We’ve officially launched the Wyatt Leamon Foundation website!  We will be adding tons of new content over the course of the next several months, but in the meantime, please take some time to click around, meet the little “Pie Man” who’s story will help the lives of others and hopefully learn some important lessons regarding ear infections, antibiotics and organ donation.

Thanks to everyone who supports the Wyatt Leamon Foundation!

Photo Gallery: Wyatt’s Story

June 20th, 2011

The following are images that reveal the sad and scary progression of Wyatt’s 30 days in the hospital as his liver failed due to the adverse drug reaction.  Caution, graphic images.