An 8-year-old boy with a rare medical condition died in California over the weekend — but not before becoming an honorary Marine.
Wyatt Gillette passed away Sunday in Orange County from Aicardi-Goutierres Syndrome Type 1, a condition that caused him to have seizures and for his kidneys to completely fail. Gillette's father, Jeremiah Gillette, who is a Marine drill instructor at nearby Camp Pendleton, has previously asked other Marines to pray for his son, KABC-TV reported.
But the Marines did more than pray for the ill young boy. They started a petition to make the 8-year-old an honorary Marine, a title received by only a few individuals each year. The U.S. Marine Corps approved the request, and on Saturday, just one day before Wyatt passed away, a ceremony was held at Camp Pendleton where the dying boy received the honor.
Wyatt Gillette died Sunday morning. His father said the boy died peacefully and was not in any pain.
Jeremiah Gillette expressed gratitude to his military colleagues and the Marine Corps, saying, "Thank you all so much for letting Wyatt into your hearts, and allowing him to make you smile. It was his favorite thing to do," KABC-TV reported.
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