His twin died in the womb due to twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and never made it to this world.
Walker and Willis Myrick were meant to be twin brothers who would spend their life together. However, unfortunately, one of them did not make it into the world. Willis succumbed to twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) before the twins were born, and so ceased to exist while in the womb. Even though the two boys never met, they have a particular bond, according to mother Brooke Myrick.
She told TODAY, "It's just one of those things. truly believe he’ll always have a connection with his brother." Walker frequently visits his brother's grave, informing him about school or his other siblings.
She takes photographs of Walker visiting the grave and posts them on Facebook, just like she did a few years back when Walker had just finished his first day of kindergarten and wanted to talk to his brother about it.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, TTTS "is a rare pregnancy condition affecting identical twins or other multiples." It occurs when identical twins share the same blood vessels in the same placenta while in the womb, one twin receives greater blood flow than the other. Myrick said, "I had never heard of it, and I actually didn't even know we should get tested. Every time we went in, everything was fine, so I was in this mindset that I'm going to have two healthy babies."
She got to know that one child did not have a heartbeat when she was 22 weeks pregnant. She recalled, "I was so shocked because I had been told everything was fine." She went to a specialist who saved her son, Walker.
Now, Walker regularly dreams about his twin brother and is taken to Willis' grave by his parents, where he has full-fledged discussions with his sibling. Their mother says, "Willis truly lives through Walker – and I think he watches over him."
Myrick adds that it is not just Walker but her whole family, husband, Michael, and three other children, Jolie, Cooper, and Bryant, who still feel close to Willis. She said, "On holidays, we'll be in the store, and even now, when they see something like a little angel or a little car, they say, 'Can we get this for Willis?' " She further added, "I don't find it odd; I just think they love their brother."
"We taught them how to grieve somebody and celebrate life at the same time. It's not a depression thing. When we go up there, we laugh — I want people to see that. We honor him."
She is determined to make other parents expecting twins aware of the condition. Every year, around the boys' birthdays in early March, the family participates in a walk to benefit the TTTS Foundation. Myrick got the idea in 2012 after meeting a mother who had lost two kids to TTTS and was organizing a walk in memory of them. Myrick raced to her aid, bringing Walker with her.
She said, "We all walked, and Walker got to meet other twins who came, and on the way home, he asked, 'Can I do a walk for Willis?' I thought, emotionally, I don't know if I'm strong enough to do that. Then he said, 'Can I do it for my birthday?' And I can't say no to that."
As a result, the annual "Walker and Willis Birthday Walk to Fight TTTS" was founded. Myrick explained, "It's become a tradition around here. We meet different people every year, and he's raised at least $2,500 every year."
Cover Image Source: Walker Myrick/Facebook