An Unexpected Joy for a Marine’s Family: Meet Wyatt Chesser

An Unexpected Joy for a Marine’s Family: Meet Wyatt Chesser October 21, 2013

I’m so excited to see some photos rolling in from my post below!

This is the first one I read, and — wow! — how inspiring.  It’s from Cassy Fiano Chesser, whose husband is a Marine:


Hi Bristol!

I wanted to send a picture of my son, Wyatt.  He is currently 17 months old.  I actually sent in two pictures, because it just seemed right with our story.  The pictures I sent are both of Wyatt with his dad.

When I got pregnant with Wyatt, it was definitely not planned.  Our older son, Benjamin, was only six months old.  My husband was an active duty Marine, and already scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan.  We knew as soon as the pregnancy test came back positive that he wouldn’t be home for the birth.  But as a military family, we knew that this was always a possibility, and didn’t stress too much about it.  At about 12 weeks pregnant, my nuchal translucency test came back positive for Down syndrome.  I decided to have the amnio done, because I wanted to know.  I wanted to have time to prepare myself, and I also knew it would mean that our doctors would be able to monitor us better if they knew what to look for.  Matt deployed to Afghanistan when I was about 15 weeks pregnant; I had the amnio done without him two days later.  I got the results back three days after that: male, positive for Trisomy 21.  I had to get the news alone, grieve alone, cry alone.  It was one of the hardest times of my life, and I didn’t have the one person there that I needed the most.  But knowing beforehand meant that I had time to accept the diagnosis, which I eventually did.  When Wyatt was born, I was thrilled and happy and 100% ready to love him as he is.  Matt was able to Skype into the operating room from Afghanistan.

Three weeks to the day later, Matt came home from Afghanistan and finally met his son for the first time.  (That’s the first picture.)  He’s been home since then, and Wyatt definitely LOVES his daddy.  I wish I could have told myself the joy that Wyatt would bring to our family when we first received the diagnosis, or that he would have the cutest smile ever, or that he and his brother Benjamin would be so adorable together.  Down syndrome brings some difficulties with it — it would be a lie to say otherwise — but for the most part, Wyatt is just a normal toddler… a toddler who really, really likes attention, and loves to be tossed in the air by his dad!

The second picture is of Wyatt and his dad now.  I love this picture of the two of them together.  I think their smiles say a lot more than I can.


Cassy Fiano Chesser

Thanks, Cassy!  (And Matt, thanks for your service!!  You guys make America great.)

Semper fi!



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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sue Lynn

    Awesome…he is so cute…God Bless!!!!

  • Karol Contris Wells

    What a great story. Wyatt is absolutely adorable!! These children are truly precious gifts. God bless this family.

  • rosemaryhuckeba

    Wyatt is so precious! He will bring a lot of joy to your family! God bless and always believe in God! He does not give us more than we can handle. My daughter had a stroke and can’t use the left side of her body. We have made it with God’s help! I know you will too!

  • Doris Branum

    He is so precious he is beautiful. I worked with handicapped people when I was young. I learned so many lessons from them and I had so much fun working with them.

  • Cheryl Jones Brannan

    Wyatt is so darling and may your family enjoy all the blessings the Lord will bestow on you for accepting his precious gift!

  • Angela Mills

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. You are truly blessed.

  • beautiful

  • Mary A. Jones

    Wyatt has a beautiful smile and is a precious gift from God. Thank you for sharing your story. Matt thank you for your service.

  • Storm Webb

    bristol i dont have a child with down syndrome , but i admire that you do and you are so young and deal with it so well. I believe God hand picks special people to be mothers of children who have down syndrome. and I believe that it takes a special person to do what you do. i admire your courage your stregnth and want to say though you and i are strangers im proud of you. you have a beautiful son . an amazing family and you keep doing what you do . Gods proud of you also.
    I have two beautiful grandchildren and 5 children. and i love them all. one of my sons has terets syndrome and he is 21 now and a father of 2 , and my oldest whos 24 now had leukemia for 4 yrs so i know the challenges of being a parent and being a parent when your child has any health issues isnt easy but you know its all worth it and i thank god for all my children and grandchildren. the pic below is my oldest sons and my 21 yr old derek is one on the right who has terretts . the one on left had leukemia from age 7 until 11 and god healed him.

    • Bristol actually has a brother with down syndrome. Her son does not.

  • Vanessa Jones

    I Love you Bristol~ Thank you So much for being out Spoken just like your Wonderful Mother. She is just AMAZING !! I keep up with her on Facebook, I have been keeping up with you also, as you go through your Own Journey in life. I watched you on Celebrity Wife Swap
    So Happy you did the Show, wish Your Mother would have been on the show as well, but Surely Understand Why she wasn’t. Loved ~ Loved~ How you handled all that was thrown at you. So Strong… Love you Girlie~ God Bless You and your Family ~ Been looking for your reality show, but not able to locate the name of it.
    Vanessa Jones ~ Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Would Love to Meet you One Day~

  • Joy DeKok

    You are an amazing woman, Bristol. Thank you for putting yourself out here for the benefit of so many.

  • fyrefingers1956

    Unexpected, yet instantly loved. Maybe more than any other(hope not) mother out there, at that moment. My son was bornwith no problems, we were all happy. Now comes the harder part. Raising this wonder from above us all. It will not be perfect. It will sometimes be unbearable. But from my experiences with my son and his grandparents, it can often bring you to tears of joy. Just never give in and never give up. You will all find joy for this young boy, and his parents pride may even surpass whatever “measuring stick” of crap that morons deem important. Just hold together and be your family. It is and will be one of the greatest things to happen.

  • Kristy Patullo

    What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing, Bristol. (and Cassy) Very sweet photos. Thank you for your service, Matt. Semper fi!

  • Melody Young Loftin

    What a wonderful story! Thanks to all!

  • mrswright

    As a MARINE wife myself, i want to say thanks to the family who shared their story. Our eldest son, who is now 31 years old, has autism. please be sure to sign your family up for the EFMP (exceptional family member program) on your base. they are very helpful and it benefits your hubby in the sense that he won’t have to deploy as much. GOD BLESS YOU AND SEMPER FI!!

  • Robin B.

    This is absolutely beautiful and so honest. Thanks so much for sharing your story and for being the wife of a very brave Marine.
    I do not have a child with downs syndrome but was lucky enough to be the guardian of a gentleman who had many disabilities and downs was just one. He was like a brother to me and always knew how to make my blues go away and make me smile. I lost him several years ago and miss him so much but I know he is always near when I need him.

  • Pat Edwards

    Beautiful picture and people.