After 11 days sleeping, Wyatt Shaw, to the relief of family members, finally woke up.

The cause for the abundance of time spent unconscious is a mystery, his grandmother Rhonda Thompson said.

The 7-year-old recently served as ring bearer at his uncle’s wedding ceremony. Thompson said he was the John Travolta of the wedding.

“He was perfectly fine. He danced all night. He was so outgoing,” she said. “He has just got the sweetest nature.”

The next morning, the family says Wyatt woke up with a stomach ache and complained his head hurt.

“You could tell he didn’t feel good ... but we thought he had just had too much cake from the wedding,” his grandmother said.

He was dozing in and out of consciousness, drinking water and watching cartoons. Generally, everything seemed normal.

Then, he went to bed and his mom, Amy Shaw, struggled to wake him. When he did wake, he was very lethargic and could not stand on his own.

After visiting a doctor in Elizabethtown, Wyatt was immediately sent to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville. Doug Thompson, Wyatt’s grandfather, said Wyatt was alert until that night, joking around with him.

“Then, after that, he went into that deep sleep,” Doug said.

The second-grader slept for 11 days.

Rhonda Thompson said several tests were ran on Wyatt, including three spinal taps, three MRIs, one MRA, five EEGs and a toxin panel. Wyatt was tested for parasites, viruses, bacteria and infectious diseases.

All the tests came back negative.

Rhonda Thompson said doctors suspected Cephlitus, which is an infection of the brain. They tested for it but those results also came back negative.

She said the children hospital’s doctors have been working with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and a doctor in London.

“The doctor in London said he has seen a child sleep for as long as 10 days without waking up and Wyatt slept for 11. I said he was such a competitor that he wanted to break that 10-day record so he did,” Rhonda said, laughing. “This doctor said, chances are, Wyatt would wake up and nothing would ever be found.”

Wyatt woke up Thursday. He is able to swallow liquid and has limited movement and speech. He was able to see his twin and younger brother, which his grandparents said was very beneficial to recovery. Wyatt is one of five children and is a student at Heartland Elementary School.

Although he woke up, Doug Thompson said the doctor did say it would be a “roller coaster” of events going forward.

Rhonda said the ordeal has been “heart wrenching.”

“The world stops when your grandbabies are sick,” she said. “Every result kept coming back within a normal range. They couldn’t find anything and they couldn’t treat him until they found something. He was on no medicines. He just woke up.”

Rhonda said community support during the stressful time has been phenomenal.

“The community is amazing, it really is,” she said. “The support from the community is just amazing, how the community pulls together and helps in a time of need.”

A GoFundMe page has been established for the Elizabethtown family and other fundraising support has popped up since the community learned of the sleeping boy’s situation.

Jade Flynn, a friend of Wyatt’s mother since first grade, is conducting an online fundraiser to help the family. She said she wants to send a little bit of encouragement their way.

“Wyatt is just a spunky kid, full of life and full of laughter,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking to see them go through this.”

An Oct. 26 concert is being organized by J.J. Duvall, Radcliff’s economic development, planning and building director and father of three, who said he believes most people understand the family’s distress.

“It just tugs at your heart strings,” Duvall said. “It could be anybody’s child.”

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or

(1) comment


when I was a child, I had slept 20 days without waking up...

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