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Justice For Wyiatt
On March 22, 2014 Wyiatt Ackerson was shot by Brandon McMahon. There is a petition going around trying to lower his sentence. The petition contains false information in order to make Brandon appear as the victim. Wyiatt and everyone standing behind him would like to get the facts straight and make sure Brandon McMahon serves the full years in prison that he was sentenced to by a court of law.
The Hard Facts-
Wyiatt, then still only a teenager, was shot by Brandon McMahon who had attended Wyiatt's party uninvited. The entire night McMahon had been waving his gun around the house, as reported by the victim and multiple eye witnesses. Wyiatt was fully unarmed. McMahon, and five of his friends, chased Wyiatt into the kitchen of his home. McMahon then pulled out a forty caliber gun, obtained by police shortly after his arrest, loaded with hollow point bullets.
Wyiatt selflessly attempted to get the gun from McMahon for the safety of everyone at house only to have the gun turned on him. McMahon fired the gun fully and purposely aimed at Wyiatt. The bullet entered through his shoulder along his collar bone splitting into fragments on impact. Hollow point bullets do not simply entire a body-upon hitting their target the shape of the bullet changes in order to cause more damage to whatever it may hit; in this case the bullet hit innocent flesh. A fragment hit his throat, spine, collar bone, and just barely missed his heart. Brandon then fled the scene.
The gun Brandon McMahon was obtained by police and used in a court of law. The bullet fragments in Wyiatt were proven to have come out of that very gun in a court of law. Multiple eye witnesses, with full descriptions of McMahon, have backed this up as well. The eye witnesses also testified the same story as the victim, in which Wyiatt was chased into the kitchen by McMahon and his five friends , then purposely shooting Wyiatt.
Wyiatt was left on full life support. A machine breathed for him, fed him, and removed his waste. Wyiatt was left as a “vegetable”. The degree of damage left slim chances of survival. McMahon upon arrest was originally being charged with first degree murder due to the fact of Wyiatt’s seriously life threatening injuries.
Though Wyiatt survived every breath he, or the machine, took proved a never ending challenge. In the ICU Wyiatt had multiple tubes throughout his body; one tube went directly down his throat through his mouth and another connected at his trachea. Smaller tubes had to be shoved up and down the tubes in order to clean out fluids in an extremely painful manner. Wyiatt also had tubes to feed him and remove his urine. The catheter having to be in for such an extended time has left Wyiatt with chronic UTI’s and other urinary issues.
Slowly over the course of half a year, Wyiatt fought infections, life threatening injuries, and recovering in general. The bullet had left him nearly fully paralyzed (combatted over time with extensive physical therapy). Due to injuries of the spine permanent damage throughout his entire body and mental health can be seen by anyone that speaks to him. His eyes, teeth (due to tubes), bladder control, basic movements, chronic pain, and far more have been permanently damaged and continue to affect his daily life.
Due to his disabilities Wyiatt will never be able to live alone and will have to be taken care of his entire life. The long term hospitalization has destroyed his credit and left him in debt to hospital bills at such a young age. Doctors told Wyiatt and his family he would never move again, and though Wyiatt proved them wrong, it goes to show how substantial and life impacting the injuries inflicted on him by McMahon were.
Wyiatt Ackerson’s Victim Impact Statement-
Every kid has that one dream they hold close-a dream they live and love by. For me my dream growing up was to just make it in the world. That is a common dream among many people-the white picket fence dream. To me making it meant that I would be able to support my home and make my family proud. At only just about a month into being nineteen I had a good path set up and was close to achieving this goal: but it was all ruined when Brandon decided to shoot me in attempt to murder me.
In middle school and high school, I built up a lot of muscle mass. For many of those years I wrestled, only quit because I wanted to work. My dad always told me I was good and to keep going. I placed first at many of my tournaments and even helped bring my high school team to state once. Wrestling was something my entire family loved to see. Nearly each and every tournament or match they showed up to watch me. Hours upon hours of watching me wrestling my family bonded over this. At home I also helped out by chopping, splitting, and stacking the wood. My dad worked long hours so this was a big help to him. Every now and then I would go for runs that were usually a couple miles long or so. While running was not my favorite exercise I still liked it and found the work to benefit me. During my childhood I also learned much about vehicles from my shop teacher in high school, family and friends, and just plain out trial and error. This came in handy because all my vehicles at the time were older trucks that needy some good old fashion TLC. With no help or just a little help I could easily fix them myself saving money, giving me a good learning experience, and another task completed to feel accomplished about. At age nineteen I also worked graveyard shift at Etnyre welding. I loved this job. While many people may not enjoy working graveyard shift I did not mind as much as others. I was learning fast at this trade and could see myself having a future with the work. I really enjoyed the hard work and the challenge it gave me. The pay was good too, especially for the age of nineteen, which was important because I was fixing to move out soon. I had the funds and position to do so. At only nineteen I was nearly fully independent already. Paid for a lot on my own: truck repairs, phone bill, gas money. I could pay for more too if I just rationed my pay check out more carefully. Like I previously stated- I had a good path set up for myself.
When Brandon shot me I was not exactly sure what was going on. What I do know though is I barely made it to the hospital with a pulse. When I got to the hospital I went straight into surgeries and had serval after that throughout my stay at multiple different hospitals. At the hospitals in Rockford their main goal was to keep me alive, Sycamore was to wean me off of breathing machines and assistance, and Chicago was meant to help me try to leave the way of hospital life. Early on they kept me on sleeping medication in hopes that I would spend my time in the ICU asleep- I do not blame them for this because it was a dim, cramped, and bland room that surrounded me with machines, tubes, and wires. I was in a constant state of pain even though when I woke up I could only move my head and my left arm slightly. It was terrifying needless to say. Family members and friends would enter the room with that look in their eyes that said they were worried I was not going to make it. Even after leaving the ICU there was many scares from nursing mistakes to infections that put my life on the line. I could not move or breath on my own any longer. The only way I could communicate with my family was the slight movements or blinking I could manage. Most of the times I just had to pray that they could understand what I needed. The doctors had tubes all throughout my body. A machine fed me, removed my bladder, and did my breathing. Getting off of these machines were a lot of work. When the tube was removed from my mouth I still had one hooked into my throat through my neck. A small tube like structure had to be shoved into the main tube in order to suck up excess of spit and other fluids. This is extremely painful. Never before did I think I would not be able to clear my throat on my own will. During this time period I wanted nothing more than to drink water but of course I could not be given any due to the fact that I had a hole in my throat. My mouth was so dry and until then I had never felt such a desire for something. All they could do was dip a damp sponge in my mouth. The doctors and nurses tried feeding me before my throat was fully healed and part of a boiled egg got stuck in my throat. This made me develop ammonia sending me backwards threatening my life once again. When all of this finally resolved itself with difficulty and time I still had to spend four months in a bed praying I would be able to walk again someday. Slowly I beat the unlikely probability and regained movement. During these four months I was afraid and in pain. I spent this time thinking I would spend the rest of my life in a chair and no one wants to live like that. Sure some people have too but that is not what they want. Like previously stated, I regained some mobility back but this is no way to live. It is nothing like it was before. I barely made it out of the hospitals- I would not wish this kind of life on anyone.
Brandon put myself and my family through something I would not have even been able to imagine before it all happened. What happened forced my little sister to grow up before she should have, it made my older brother hate himself because he could not protect me, it made my entire family go through years of not being able to be happy because of the trauma it caused. No one will ever forget those days and the future days to come. I have not been able get over it yet and probably will never be. Sleeping is nearly impossible for me. Nightmares fill my head about all that happened and pain prevents me from sleeping. Odds are my chances of having children have been ruined and growing up I had always looked forward to raising my own. My eyesight, teeth, ears are now all impaired in some way. To shower I need the help of a shower bench and I cannot control my bladder well. My right arm and chest are still mostly paralyzed and my body cannot sense temperature accurately. My hands are shot- I can hardly open them. My left leg drags behind me therefore need a cane to walk but even with the cane I still fall and stumble a lot. The simple things in life that would not phase most people takes a lot of effort from me. I just cannot believe this is where I am at twenty-one years old, at this point it will only get worse and it is all because of Brandon making the decision to try and kill me. I do not know where to go in life right now as a kid who cannot do a simple job and only get six hundred dollars a month from disability and SSI. I depend on other people for just about everything. Getting me something to drink, plugging cords in, making my bed all has to be done for me. These are just a very few of the very many. What am I going to do when I am old and cannot help myself? My point is this injury affected me in every way possible from physically to financially at such a young age. My credit is ruined because of hospital bills. Nothing will ever be the same: I will never wrestle with my brother, never go for runs, never help dad with splitting wood, never fix my own truck, never weld, never do anything I used to love so much. My entire family and I will always hold a mental scar and trauma from all that Brandon has put us through. I am thankful to be alive for my family’s sake but Brandon deserves every second he can get because this is no way to live.
~Dictated by Wyiatt Ackerson
A Family member’s Word-
Being Wyiatt’s only little sibling, I always looked up to him. Every little thing he did I thought was the coolest thing ever. When we both started getting older we became more individual like all siblings do yet we still had to stick together.
When I was younger my mom wasn’t around very much. Us kids were raised by my always working dad and most importantly-each other. Our family is low income and shortly after our mom came back into my life she was diagnosed with cancer-her dad, our grandfather, died from cancer years previously. In generations previous to us many family members struggled with drug addictions, depression, and crimes.
My point in saying all of this is- having a rough childhood and being young gives no one an excuse to cause harm to others. My two older brothers and I have all grown up in a rough environment. When the card dealer hands out the cards no one is given a fair hand. It is up to the player how they use the cards-despite them being good or not.
Wyiatt turned out a good man. He was always a people person that everyone loved to be around. He worked hard and was eager to finally start the next chapter of his life and move away from home-yet that never came.
That never came because one very late night my dad came sprinting into my room screaming that Wyiatt had been shot. The ride up to the hospital was fast and dangerous yet none of us cared about our own life-all we wanted was to get there before Wyiatt died. I didn’t realize it at the time-but no one believed he was going to make it out of that dark, overly cramped, windowless ICU.
Looking back on it nearly a year later I finally understood that. I had been in the gift shop, and saw this little turtle stuffed animal, and looked back at my mom saying how we should get it for him. She just smiled and looked at me as if I was nothing more than an ignorant child and said “let’s see how things play out”. It took me nearly a year to realize that she had said that because Wyiatt was supposed to die.
Yet I coped with denial. I coped by saying there was no way Wyiatt could drift away. I couldn’t deal with the thought that Wyiatt would never talk again, or move, or joke around like the playful person he was because even despite all the things he continues to mess up on he will always be my biggest inspiration and role model.
Wyiatt didn’t want pain pills when he was in the hospital because he didn’t want to develop a dependence on them- and because of that I’m the same way despite my chronic pain issues.
Wyiatt refused a wheelchair as soon as he had confidence he could begin walking with a cane-so I didn’t need a wheelchair when I was on long term crutches.
Wyiatt accepts people and tries to be the person everyone can talk to- so I try so hard despite the fact I have yet to master it.
Wyiatt was such a good kid growing up and he thankfully turned into such a good man despite life being hard. His head was always in the right place-he always knew wrong from right even though sometimes he decided to ignore the facts so he could have harmless fun growing up.
What people don’t see is that the day Wyiatt got shot was the day I was forced to grow up. I skipped being a stupid care free kid because life shows that everything goes wrong at once. In the hospital my dad told me I couldn’t cry in front of everyone because I had to show I was stronger than them; I had to be strong for Wyiatt. I spent months taking care of myself because my dad spent all his time at the hospital.
I cleaned the house, did the yard work, cooked, cleaned, did the shopping-everything. My other brother was with me but coped differently than me. I was left alone physically and mentally because during this time no one could be there with me. When your brother is in the hospital dying it is not as if someone can be there to hold your hand. I honestly can’t say how my other brother coped but the way I did was shoving the pressure of a brick building on my back.
Everything had to be clean, the yard had to be mowed, no clothes could be in the dirty baskets. All of this, never sitting down, because if I left myself to think about what was going on my mind would betray me. The fact that I was at home while everyone else was at the hospital killed me. The fact that Wyiatt was in life threatening states and could die any moment-when I wasn’t there to say goodbye-eats at me even today years later as I write this.
I missed large amounts of school and every single free moment I could get was spent traveling back the forth between hospitals. On weekends I lived in a car because we could not afford hotels near Wyiatt’s hospitals.
I had just turned fourteen two months previously to Wyiatt being shot-so no one ever realized how hard it hit me. Everyone assumed sense I was so young it wouldn’t hit me as hard-just as my dad and mom separating didn’t hit me because I was just a little kid. Yet what happened to Wyiatt will never leave my head.
I have night terrors to this day about him dying and me not being able to prevent it. Some nights I wake up in sweat and refuse to go back to sleep. Ever since that day my mental health betrays me. I went from being a straight A student to nearly failing multiple classes. My physical therapist claims that one of the reasons my chronic pain is not improving is because of my mental health. Teachers and school consolers had kept me on a watch list because of my mental state. Many of my days were spent in the office away from other kids instead of class due to the countless amount of breakdowns.
When you are that young and see a person begging for water it destroys you. Water is such a basic thing-yet Wyiatt couldn’t have it. He was so thirsty, his mouth so dry, he would try to trick people into giving him something to drink. A sink was just across his bed directly in view point of him and every time someone turned it on he just sat there watching. Until you take away something as basic as water, you don’t see how desperate a person can get. To this day I have never seen such a great wanting or need than when Wyiatt begged for water day after day.
One of my most cherished memories that always makes me smile was the day they finally allowed Wyiatt to have something of the sorts. They gave him a popsicle, and it felt like the end of a war, yet the war never ended.
When Wyiatt need’s to create something about what happened-such as his victim impact statement- I type it out for him. He tells me his thoughts and I write it down because he cannot type due to lack of hand movement from everything that happened. Wyiatt will message me (because sometimes getting up is a challenge for him physically) at any time of hour asking me for something such as food or a trip to town because he needs help with basic things now. My point is that I am seventeen years old and taking care of my twenty-two year old brother.
I am saying this to show how impacting McMahon had on both Wyiatt and our family not because I am angry for having to help Wyiatt.
(I want everyone who may read this to know that my brother is not a burden to me-and I will be here to help him with whatever it may be for as long as I can.)
Life is not fair-I am in charge of helping take care of my older brother. My mom’s doctor put me in charge of my mom because I’m the only person in the family that can follow along with the information he tells us. I’m saying this part because the heartless person that shot Wyiatt claims it’s justifiable because he had a rough childhood. Speaking from experience-despite everything that has happened it my life, which 97% has not been listed, I could never imagine hurting someone.
My friends and family make fun of me because I refuse to kill bugs of any kind, I save ants from drowning in pools, I go out of my way to avoid stepping on worms on the sidewalk. It is not how you are raised that determines your actions-it is who you are. A person cannot blame multiple accounts of hurting others on the way they were raised.
Anyone that knows my family personally sees this first hand because my two brothers and I were raised by the same man and yet we are all so very different. One brother grew up a gamer with a few friends, Wyiatt was a built kid with a large social group, I was the goody-two shoes with my one friend.
It is hard to be a good person-but that doesn’t mean it is okay to be a bad person.
This may have seemed too open and personal for some people but my words are to prove a point- This is not a sob story entitled towards me- it is to give an example about how this impacted everyone close to Wyiatt. His family, his friends, and even random people he’s met before (because the thought of someone derailing a person from their designated track so easily without hesitation is terrifying.)
I cannot speak from my family’s perspective-but I can at least try to give somewhat of a view of how what happened impacts Wyiatt’s life, and ours, permanently.
I believe in forgiveness-but put my faith in karma.
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