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Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

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‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

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

I got to see Wyatt before he went into emergency surgery. I took about [four] steps into the room and stopped in horror. There was my baby boy lying there, unconscious. He was stripped down to his diaper, gray looking, his eyed were rolled in the back of his head, and he had a tube and wire coming out of every part of his body. My happy, smiley baby boy was laying there looking so lifeless. It is an image that plays over in mind over and over again every single day.

Courtesy of Erica Hammel
Courtesy of Erica Hammel

The 4 + hours he was in surgery were the longest hours of my life. But instead of being able to sit with my family to comfort me, I had to be interviewed by CPS agents, doctors, etc. I understand it was just protocol, but it was not what I needed at that time. While I was being interviewed I was also trying to pray at the same time. I could not lose my baby boy. Once Wyatt made it through surgery I was able to go see him the PICU. He looked pretty much the same as I saw him before his surgery except now he had a giant incision on his head from the surgery. He was hooked up to life support and the doctors told me the next 48 hours would be critical. At this point, all I could do is sit by Wyatt’s bedside and pray. The doctors advised me that including the brain bleed and fractured skull, Wyatt also had broken ribs and bilateral retinal hemorrhages. They told me his injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Courtesy of Erica Hammel
Courtesy of Erica Hammel

Wyatt’s case came into the prosecutor’s office as a homicide; he was not expected to make it. I was then notified by the police that the girlfriend of my ex husband, Rachel Edwards, did indeed have a criminal history. She was convicted in 2011 of 3rd-degree child abuse and again in 2013 of 4th-degree child abuse. She received just probation and fines both times. What’s even more sobering is she was sentenced on the second charge, just 10 days before she almost killed Wyatt. Had the judge just given her 30 days in county jail, she wouldn’t have been able to get her hands on Wyatt that day. It made me sick to my stomach and I knew in that moment, I had to make a change in this world. My immediate thought was, ‘How come people who sexually abuse children have to register, but people who physically abuse children don’t?’

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.

Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family.

‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

Miss Kansas 2024, Alexis Smith, has captured national attention not just for her beauty and charisma, but for her bravery in addressing a deeply personal and harrowing issue: domestic abuse.

Rory Feek Remarries 8 Years After Losing Wife Joey to Cancer

It's been 8 years since Rory Feek lost his wife, best friend, and music partner Joey Feek to terminal cancer. Now he's tying the knot again, this time, with daughter Indiana by his side.