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How One Mother’s Tragedy Inspired Wyatt’s Law to Combat Child Abuse

The Tragic Beginning: Shaken Baby Syndrome

I guess you could say my real life story begins when I was 16 years old. My mom (who was my best friend) died suddenly of brain cancer. It rocked my whole world and it was hard for me to imagine feeling happy again. Well when I was 18, I met a man whom I was sure was the man of my dreams. I never imagined he would ever be my ex-husband. We dated for a few years, he proposed, I said yes and we were married when I was 22. I was so excited to have found my supposed love of my life so early in life. One thing I also knew from a very young age, is I always wanted to be a mother. My life plan was we would have [three] kids by the time I was 30. I imagined the white picket fence and all. So my husband and I started trying for a baby and were blessed with my son Wyatt who was born perfect on October 12, 2012. My life was playing out just as I imagined it, and shortly after Wyatt was born we were already talking about having baby #2.

Courtesy of Erica Hammel
Courtesy of Erica Hammel
Courtesy of Erica Hammel

When Wyatt was just 4 months old, my husband at the time just stopped coming home at night. Out of nowhere. When I questioned him about it, all he would say is, ‘I’m trying to find myself,’ ‘Not sure if I was ready to be a Dad.’ I decided to try and be as supportive as I could and just hoped and prayed he would come back home. I had never felt that alone since my mom had died. This isn’t the way life was supposed to work. How was I all of [a] sudden a single mom? I was raised to be married before I had a child with someone. I did everything the way I was raised to be, and I just didn’t understand why this was happening. But I couldn’t wallow and soak in my self-pity; I had an infant to take care of. And that was my focus. I became suspicious that my husband wasn’t ‘finding himself,’ but instead, he was having an affair. He denied it and made me feel like absolute garbage for even suggesting it. But I had someone I knew see him out with another woman and snapped some pretty intimate photos of them. As soon as I brought ‘the evidence’ to him, he finally admitted to it. I knew in that moment my marriage was over. I filed for divorce in May of 2013.

Erica Hammel
Erica Hammel
My name is Erica Hammel, I am 30 years old, and live in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. I work part-time for a dental Handpiece company, and my other job is taking care of my son Wyatt who is a survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Wyatt is currently in outpatient 3 times a week, so we stay pretty busy. After what happened to Wyatt, I knew I needed to make a change. No doubt my calling in life has become to protect children and to fight for the rights they don’t have. I am trying to do that through Wyatt’s Law and will continue to do that after the law passes.

Faith and Excellence: Katie Ledecky’s Path to the Paris 2024 Olympics

As one of the most decorated female swimmers in history, Katie Ledecky's career has been a testament to her relentless dedication, exceptional talent, and unwavering faith.

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Whether you're looking to be inspired, have a laugh, or feel like you're chatting with your best friend, each of these social media influencers have a load of great content to offer. 

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The Paris 2024 Summer Olympics promise to be a spectacular event, showcasing both traditional and innovative sports. Here are 20 things you should know before the Olympic games begin.