Hayley Erbert, wife of dancer and TV host Derek Hough, is showing promising signs of recovery after undergoing a second major skull surgery on December 21st. Erbert has been hospitalized since early December due to a life-threatening cranial hematoma that required emergency surgery.
Background on Hayley’s Health Crisis
On December 12th, Hough revealed on Instagram that Erbert had been hospitalized after a “terrifying ordeal” over the weekend. He explained that she had suffered a cranial hematoma and underwent emergency decompressive craniectomy surgery to relieve pressure on her brain.
During this surgery, a piece of Erbert’s skull was temporarily removed to allow her brain to swell without being compressed. Hough said Erbert was initially in critical condition but had since stabilized. He asked fans for prayers and support during her recovery.
Over the following week, Hough provided occasional updates indicating Erbert was making progress with walking and talking but still faced a long road to full recovery.
Hayley Undergoes Second Surgery
On December 20th, Hough announced Erbert would undergo another surgery on December 21st to reattach the missing piece of bone to her skull, a procedure known as a cranioplasty.
He wrote on Instagram: “The first part of recovery is complete and now it’s time for the cranioplasty surgery to put back the piece of skull that they removed to allow her brain to swell – along with installing a small plate.”
The next day after her nearly 8-hour surgery, Hough confirmed it had been a success:
“Surgery went well and it went as planned. The doctor said it could not have gone better. We feel very, very good about the road ahead.”
He praised the “incredible medical team” caring for his wife and said he was filled with hope, gratitude and relief.
Signs of Improvement After Second Operation
In an Instagram video on December 23rd, Hough revealed Erbert had stood up and walked with assistance just two days after her cranioplasty.
“She’s got a walker…it’s so amazing to see her get up and stand. And she’s progressing really, really well,” he said.
Table showing key dates in Hayley Erbert’s health crisis:
|December 10-11, 2022
|Erbert hospitalized after sudden cranial hematoma
|December 12, 2022
|Undergoes decompressive craniectomy surgery
|December 13-20, 2022
|Initial recovery period
|December 21, 2022
|Cranioplasty surgery to reattach skull piece
|December 23, 2022
|Hough shares video of Erbert walking with assistance
Hough also shared that Erbert’s speech continues improving daily. Though she still has weakness on her right side, he said she is regaining mobility quickly.
“I’m just filled with hope again,” said an emotional Hough. “Every single day she’s getting stronger and more coherent. We are very optimistic for what this looks like a month from now, two months from now, three months from now.”
On Christmas Day, Hough posted another encouraging update showing Erbert speakingsimple phrases like “I love you” alongside her sister Katherine.
“The progress she has made since surgery is incredible but she still has a ways to go to full recovery,” wrote Hough. “This will be Hayley’s toughest challenge yet but she is one of the strongest people I know.”
Outpouring of Support from Fellow Stars
Numerous celebrities have shown support for the couple as Erbert recovers, including Hough’s sister Julianne Hough, Alfonso Ribeiro, Carrie Ann Inaba and more.
Ribeiro, Hough’s DWTS co-host, sent the couple a touching audio message which Derek played for Hayley in the hospital.
“We love you dearly. You are in our hearts; in our souls; in our prayers constantly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Ribeiro.
Country star Mickey Guyton also recorded an emotional song for Hayley which left Derek in tears. He thanked Guyton and all their friends and fans for uplifting them during an incredibly difficult time.
While Hayley still faces intensive rehab and recovery ahead, the last two weeks have been filled with frightening challenges. But now there seems to be hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Derek said his outlook grows more positive every day as Hayley regains strength.
The Road Ahead to Full Recovery
Dr. Robert Bolash, a neurosurgeon at Cleveland Clinic not involved in Hayley’s case, said patients can make excellent progress in the months after this type of brain surgery.
“In the hospital they have to focus on basic functions—walking, talking, eating—before they move into intensive cognitive and occupational therapies,” he told Today.com.
“It’s usually about three months after surgery when you get a good picture of the full deficits. Most recovery happens in the first year but can take up to two years.”
Hayley has a long journey ahead involving physical, speech and possibly cognitive therapies. But the remarkable progress she has already made since her emergency surgeries suggests she is on the right path.
Her doctors remain cautiously optimistic about her prognosis. Derek said the couple are taking things step by step, day by day.
Thousands have come together in an incredible show of love and support for Hayley from all over the world. We will all be rooting for her continued improvement in 2023 as she embarks on the long road to a full recovery.
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