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Trauma Response Team helping Milwaukee mother heal after son's death

Posted at 9:04 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 23:27:41-05

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee mother is sharing her story for the first time since the death of her 5-year-old son.

One of her first steps forward was reaching out to the "city's Trauma Response Team" for help. It's a resource that many people may not know about.

Tabrina Wyatts home is filled with memories of her 5-year-old son, Nye'Zear.

"He would have been in first grade this year... he was like the most energetic boy ever," said Wyatts.

That energy stopped June 18th when Nye'Zear found a gun in the home.

Wyatt had the day off of work. She was taking a nap with her twin babies, her two-year-old, and Nye'Zear.

"I was asleep and I heard the gun. I didn't know it was the gun," said Wyatt. "I really thought it was the electric outlet because that's what it sounded like. I found my baby. And I couldn't. I feel like as a parent, we protect our children. It was in a moment in my life where I couldn't save my own son. My son dying when I was screaming for help and I was trying to call 911. My baby was dying. There was nothing I could do to help my son."

Nye'Zear died from a gunshot wound to the head. After that, Wyatt said her life stopped.

"When my kids sleep, I cry. I haven't moved on. I have my breakdowns.," said Wyatts.

But Wyatt has three other children depending on her. When there is a violent incident in a home and children around, that's when the city's Trauma Response Team tries to step in.

"Oftentimes people may not know where to get help ... it is critically important that we recognize the importance of ensuring that people have access to counseling and support to be able to begin that healing journey," said Reggie Moore with the Office of Violence Prevention.

Last year in Milwaukee, eight children died. Every child has a network of family and friends affected by that loss. That's why the city's Trauma Response Team is there to help.

However, the city does not just support families of shootings, but any type of trauma like domestic violence, sexual assault, and bullying.

"Our goal is to support families. So after exposure to a stressful life event, our goal is to connect with families and meet them where they are at," said Theresa Barnett, a clinician with the Trauma Response Team.

Studies have found when trauma is not dealt with especially in children it leads to problems later in life including depression, anger, anxiety, and suicide. It puts people at higher risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease and cancer.

Tabrina says her healing journey has included realizing she needs counseling and other support.

"Sometimes you don't want to go to family. Sometimes you don't want to express, you don't want to feel like you are asking too much. So to have that other support team with the Trauma Center. It is a lot of help," said Wyatts.

The city now has all police officers and firefighters trained to help spot people who need referrals to the trauma response team. But anyone can make a referral or you can call in for yourself and or child. That number is (414) 257-7621.

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