Media professional and American Ninja Warrior host Matt Iseman was thrown for a loop by one reporter in Atlanta. He was stopped in his tracks by eight-year-old Nathan Bywaters, who was holding the mic for channel 11.
Matt was taken aback by the confidence of the young reporter. Once he learned more about the young man, he was even more impressed.
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I can’t even put last night into words. It was so unreal! Voice lessons from @mattiseman (sound on)!!! I got to hang with @akbar_gbaja (pictures to come). I got to interview some of my favorite ninjas!!!! I got to share my heart story with so many people! @11alive, I will be happy to be your special reporter for all things ninja related;) being able to attend the Atlanta American Ninja Warrior Qualifier was a dream come true!!!! @ninjawarrior @cheryl.preheim #heartwarrior #chd #chdawareness #americanninjawarrior #futureninjawarrior #braveconquersfear #dreamcometrue
Matt invited Nathan and his mom Jennifer Bywaters to share their story on his Warrior Wednesdays, a program where Matt calls attention to the some incredible people who’ve overcome some huge obstacles.
When Nathan was six-years-old, he was diagnosed with a rare heart defect that required him to undergo open heart surgery in this past October. His mom shared how a basic visit to a pediatrician for a bout of the flu kicked off the process of discovering one of the scariest things a parent can face. However, Nathan tells his story with a shocking amount of confidence, remaining calm, and sharing the wisdom and trust he had in those around him.
It’s #WarriorWednesdays and our new honoree is just 8 years old but he’s already earned the title “The Hear Warrior." Hear from Nathan Bywaters & his mother, Jennifer, & how our talk came to be thanks to @ninjawarrior & @11AliveNews. Watch it here: https://t.co/U3KGqmIWXD pic.twitter.com/DYpsgNTWy5— Matt Iseman (@mattiseman) April 3, 2019
Now healthy and doing well, Nathan shares his experiences to inspire others, saying that after initially being worried about the surgical scar he came around to the idea, “Well, scars are kind of cool.” He even inspires older kids, sharing that a 17-year-old girl reached out on Instagram to tell him his scar helped her embrace her own heart surgery scar.
Mom Jennifer says they got through the difficult situation with family, faith, and friends. That included support from For the Kids at Georgia Tech, who even turned out for the start of Nathan’s broadcast career at the taping of American Ninja Warrior.
Nathan is looking ahead to what’s next, saying the future is, “Going to be good.” He even plans on applying to American Ninja Warrior Junior. He’s got the skills to back up the claim!
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After trying the 12ft warped wall a handful of times, I decided to try it with all the Atlanta ninjas watching. Talk about pressure! No worries, I got it;) And that feeling at the top of the wall with all your hero’s clapping and cheering you on! Priceless! @ninjaquestfitness @shawn_thehammerninja @tylercgillett @michael_greatness_johnson @ninjanickythumbs @joeydesocio @jessicabarnard5 @mrsbuff2u #warpedwallwednesday #warpedwall #heartwarrior #chdawareness #priceless #futureamericanninjawarrior #ninjatraining
For Warrior Wednesdays, Matt donated donated $250 to Hope Kids, Nathan’s charity of choice. You should listen to the entire, wonderfully uplifting interview above. We’ll be keeping our eyes out for Nathan on the American Ninja Warrior course in the coming years!