Branch County man raising money to help burn victims

Wyatt Hemkers swings from the monkey bars. (WWMT/Brittany Gray)

A Branch County man who was badly burned in a skid steer accident continues to give back to those fighting the same battle.

Newschannel 3's Brittany Gray talked with Andy and Wyatt Hemker nearly three years ago after the pair was in an accident that left them badly burned. Andy organized an event to help others just like him.

May 23 will mark three years since Andy and Wyatt were burned in an explosion at their home in Bronson. The two were buckled into a skid steer when Hemker says he noticed gas was pouring out of the tank and before he could unbuckle he saw a massive ball of flames.

Hemker said, I remember everything from when it happened to when the fire fighters got there and all the way for the air flight.”

The family of four has come a long way and Hemker said he wants to do whatever he can to help other burn survivors.

Hemker said, “We continue to keep growing, pushing forward and the manual the more people that I can help with this benefit or other survivors that I talk to.”

He organized a golf scramble for June 4 at the Coldwater golf course. The money raised will go to the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.

He is searching for donated items to hold a silent auction and is looking for people to sign up for the scramble by May 28.

The nonprofit organization says it is dedicated to empowering people who have been affected by a burn injury.

Hemker said, “We took a tragedy and turned it into something good.”

Hemker said the accident changed their lives. He said he’s learned to find joy in the journey, spending more time with his family and not taking any moment for granted.

Hemker said, “I only take, one day at a time because tomorrow is never promised. So, you live life to the fullest every day.”

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