Shortly after the Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta posted a photo of one of their tiniest fans: Wyatt Keeton, an adorable toddler with dwarfism, all decked out in a Falcons jersey and neck brace, wearing blue-rimmed glasses and holding up his right index finger.
The photo of 17-month-old Wyatt of Johns Creek was posted with the caption: Our Atlanta Falcons are Super Bowl bound! #RiseUp
The post was shared more than 2,500 times and got more than 15,000 likes.
A stream of comments, many accompanied with hearts, say this:
He is just about the cutest young man Falcons fan I've ever seen.
The Falcons littlest biggest fan!! I love you sweet boy!!
I love Dallas but he is sooo cute...I hope Atlanta wins the super bowl for him..
The most adorable picture of the day!
"We like to think of Wyatt as our little underdog, just like the Falcons have been an underdog this season," Wyatt's mom, Jennifer Keeton, 34, told CNN. "Nobody gives them a lot of credit or thinks they're going to do much. Wyatt, just like the Falcons, is going to prove them all wrong."
Jennifer and Kevin Keeton told CNN they tried having children shortly after they married seven years ago, but they struggled to conceive. Four years ago, they turned to in vitro fertilization. When Jennifer became pregnant with Wyatt, they were thrilled but cautious. The couple had faced heartbreak before, losing two pregnancies in the years prior.
At an ultrasound during the 13th week, the doctor became concerned when Wyatt's long bones appeared smaller than normal. As the couple prepared for a biopsy of the placenta to test for variances or mutations, Kevin leaned in and whispered to Jennifer's belly. "Prove me wrong," he said. "You fight. We fight."
After Wyatt was born via a planned C-section, he struggled with breathing.
"That was when it really hit me -- that he may not make it," his father told CNN. "But here he is. And he's thriving. He's just wonderful."
Wyatt was born at 37 weeks and diagnosed with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, a rare form of dwarfism, according to CHOA. He was later diagnosed with spinal cord stenosis, a condition commonly found in dwarfism where a child’s head is disproportionate to their smaller frame. Cervical collars were used to reduce pressure and avoid surgery. Today, thanks to a fashionable set of 30 collars, Wyatt’s spinal stenosis is almost completely resolved – and there is no surgery in his future.