BARKER, N.Y. (WIVB) — Back in 2012,  Barker couple,  Samantha Wittcop and Michael Upton found out they were having their first child. Along with the news came plenty of jitters.

But three months into her pregnancy, Samantha started to feel incredibly ill. To be safe, she and Michael headed to the hospital. 

“We get there and instantly they were just like something is wrong,” said Upton.  They were told Samantha had a serious infection in her uterus.

“She was prescribed antibiotics to fight the infection. It turns out Wyatt was the infection,” said Upton.  “At that point it just became abundantly clear that the worst was on the way,” he said. 

Just a few hours later Wyatt was born, six months early. “He basically fit into the doctor’s hand,” said Upton.  “He was one pound, 11 ounces and only 12 inches long.”  

A team immediately rushed Wyatt out of the room and got to work. “For him to be our first and our only and to experience this,” said Wittcop.  “I was 19 and he was there and then he wasn’t,” she said.  

“They told us to prepare for the worst but hope for the best,” said Upton. 

At just three days old Wyatt required major surgery. “Basically he had a hole in his stomach that was leaking into his intestines,” said Wittcop. 

It was invasive, removing 12 inches of his intestines and the blood he lost was immense. 

“They actually had to cycle the blood for 24 hours because he was losing it at such a fast pace,” the couple shared.

 That blood gave Wyatt a chance at life. “Basically Wyatt means fighter and we picked it on purpose,” said Upton.  “We knew he’d be a fighter no matter what.”

12 surgeries and several years later, Wyatt is now a spunky 7-year-old.

“He’s literally a walking miracle,” said Wittcop.  “This child lights up every room he goes into and has so many people who love him and have followed his story from the beginning.”

Now his parents, donate blood regularly after their first hand experience. “I honestly can’t even put into words, donating saves lives,” said Wittcop.