11-year-old abuse survivor celebrates 10 years, donates 100 care packages

An 11-year-old abuse survivor is giving back to Children's Hospital of Michigan for saving his life 10 years ago.

Wyatt Rewoldt and his mother Erica Hammel-Mclaughlin of St. Clair Shores donated 100 care packages on Wednesday, to be given to children who are going through a hard time while visiting the hospital's emergency room. Each includes chap stick, hair ties, fuzzy socks, ear plugs, and more.

Nov. 1, 2023 marks 10 years since Wyatt visited Children’s Hospital for "breathing issues" that turned out to be a severe brain hemorrhage caused by his father's ex-girlfriend. 

"I was greeted by the neurosurgery team who told me they were prepping Wyatt for emergency surgery, and we found he was abused," Hammel-Mclaughlin said. "He had a fractured skull, bilateral retinal hemorrhages, broken ribs, and torn gums."

Doctors confirmed the bleeding was caused by non-accidental trauma, commonly known as "Shaken Baby Syndrome," according to Children's Hospital. 

"At the time, it was very critical. We didn’t know what was going to happen," Hammel-Mclaughlin continued.

However, after surgeries, therapy and ongoing treatments, Wyatt is celebrating 10 years of being a hero.

"Today’s my anniversary hero day," Wyatt said.

Hammel-Mclaughlin spent years advocating for Wyatt’s Law in Michigan to make it easier for parents to find out if someone around their child has a history of abuse.


Whitmer signs 'Wyatt's Law' into office, creating public child abuse registry

The information, now available to parents and guardians of children throughout the state plugs a gap of available knowledge that parents can use to check if a caretaker has been convicted of child abuse.

"When everything happened to Wyatt, I found out she had a criminal history of child abuse – not only once but twice, and it lit a fire in me."

In 2022, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the package of bills, creating an electronic case management system that the public and others can use to track confirmed cases of those who have abused or neglected children. 

"That would have saved Wyatt, had I had that information," Hammel-Mclaughlin said.