‘Vegas Strong baby’ turns 5, family celebrates miracle

A baby born two days after his parents survived One October became a symbol for resilience, now FOX5 checks back with the family.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:39 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A baby born two days after his parents survived One October became a symbol for resilience, now FOX5 checks back with the family and the soon to be five-year-old boy.

Markie Matheson attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival with her husband Travis and brother. Matheson had purchased the tickets long before she knew she was going to be pregnant. On the night of 1 October, Matheson was nine months pregnant and a week overdue.

When automatic gunfire rang out, Matheson crawled on her stomach to escape. Her and her unborn child got out unscathed but her brother was shot.

“The bullet entered through his shoulder and he has about 50 bullet fragments all spread around one of them is really close to his aorta so they said they’re going to have to leave it in and not take any of the fragments out,” Matheson said.

The very next day of the shooting Matheson went into labor and on October 3rd, Wyatt Matheson was born a happy and healthy baby.

“They said he was good. They didn’t have any concerns or anything with him being in the womb. Nothing like that,” Matheson said.

Today, Wyatt is a kindergartener approaching his fifth birthday.

“He likes to do pretty much all the same stuff little boys get to do. Play outside, ride his bike, watch ninja turtles, loves going to school, making new friends,” parents Travis and Markie Matheson said.

During the interview Wyatt would bring toy after toy out.

“He is normally very shy but today he’s showing off his personality,” Markie Matheson said.

His favorite cartoon is The Cat in the Hat and his favorite food is ice cream.

His parents say they’re choosing to focus on the positive in life. They’ve added two more little ones after having Wyatt.

“What happened to us was bad, what happened to my brother was bad it was terrible for all of us but we can’t let one night stop of from living our life and having another baby or celebrating birthdays – life. Just life in general,” Travis and Markie Matheson said.

They’re constantly reminded of that night.

“It’s hard not to think about it almost every day. And then if you hear country music on the radio or anything like that and of course seeing him every day constant reminder,” Markie Matheson said.

Wyatt’s parents say they’ll wait to tell him what happened when he’s a little older.

“I guess maybe in the next year or two when he starts to understand, maturity level- we’ll explain it to him – when he starts maturing enough,” Travis and Markie Matheson said.

Right now the family is planning his fifth birthday.

“Just so happens the five year anniversary is a Saturday this year so Wyatt is going to have his birthday party on October 1st this year and it’ll be good to be with our family, our extended family and everyone that helped us get through it when it happened and it would be good to celebrate him on the actual day this year so I think that would be fun,” Markie Matheson said.

There’s a wall in the Matheson home that commemorates Wyatt’s birth. They have the original concert wristband hanging and the photo that drew attention from around the world.

MBF Photography offered to take Wyatt’s newborn pictures for free. The photo of baby Wyatt with the lit up words ‘Vegas Strong’ went viral.

Wyatt is still too young to know he is the Vegas Strong Baby.

“Just focusing on the positive and not letting a negative thing bring us down and change the way we’re going to live our life,” Markie Matheson said.