SAINT CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WJBK) - Erica Hammel has taken the worst part of her life - the abuse that happened to her son Wyatt - and tried to turn it into positive change. For three years now, she has lobbied lawmakers in Lansing to create a child abuse registry in Michigan so what happened to Wyatt doesnt happen to anyone else.
While attending to her son's needs, and what she sees as a greater good, things around her have fallen into disrepair.
"I just want to feel like it's a home and I don't feel that way," she says of her house.
Admittedly, she knows it's hard to create order and positivity amongst a somewhat chaotic living situation, but she pushes on.
"When it comes to Wyatt, I have everything organized. His doctor appointments, his therapy visits, everything. Everything else just kind of gets pushed to the side," she says.
They've been living this way for three years. It started with her ex husband's renovation project that included ripping the ceiling down and cutting power to the dining room.
"Half my kitchen doesn't have any power, so I have extensive cords so I can plug the refridgerator in and still plug the microwave in," she explains.
Then her ex husband's girlfriend, a repeat child abuser, shook Wyatt, causing irreparable brain damage. That prompted her to push for Wyatt's Law, which would create a public registry for child abusers. This term, the bill has bi-partisan support.
Regardless how you feel about the need for this law, this single mom needs a little support of her own right now as well.
"The straw that broke the camel's back was Wyatt tripped on this extension cord and he fell down crying and I fell down crying. I was like, we cannot live like this anymore."
Between taking Wyatt to therapy or doctor's appointments, there is little time and money for the needed repairs. Not to mention all the stress that's been thrown in from a recent setback:
"Wyatt, about three weeks ago, just stopped talking. We actually had a neurology appointment this morning. It's all related to his brain injury from his shaking, and that's been stressful. I haven't heard him talk in three weeks; haven't heard him say momma."
So with pride firmly swallowed, Erica is turning to FOX 2 viewers. If you have the skills and ability to help, call the FOX 2 Problem Solvers at 248-552-5150.