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What happened to Hayley Erbert? Derek Hough gives an update on his wife's recovery after emergency brain surgery

Hayley Erbert is on a 'recovery journey' after she underwent a craniectomy for bleeding in her skull.
/ Source: TODAY

Derek Hough is sharing the latest on his wife Hayley Erbert’s ongoing recovery after she had emergency brain surgery for bleeding in her skull.

Hough posted to Instagram Dec. 21, the day after Erbert underwent a surgery to replace a portion of the skull removed during a craniectomy earlier this month, to say that the latest operation has "been successfully completed as planned."

"This surgery marks a significant milestone in my wife’s recovery journey, and your support has played a crucial role in getting us here. We are filled with hope and optimism for the future, knowing she is on the path to a full recovery, surrounded by such a loving community," the Instagram caption reads, in additional gratitude expressed to the doctor who saved her life earlier this month and completed the latest surgery.

The update came one day after Hough shared on Instagram that Erbert was having the surgery.

@derekhough via Instagram

“I strongly believe all the prayers that have been sent with the intention and love of Hayley’s recovery have helped so much. I can’t thank you all enough,” he wrote on his Instagram story.

What happened to Hayley Erbert

Hough first shared news of Erbert's hospitalization on Dec. 7. At the time, he said she was hospitalized after she became disoriented at the end of their tour performance.

“She was diagnosed with a cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel and required an emergency craniectomy,” Hough wrote, adding that she was in stable condition.

Hough posted a video on Instagram on Dec. 15 of him and his wife, who was wearing protective head gear, walking hand in hand. A rendition of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” is playing in the background.

“As you all know, the past week has been a challenging journey for us due to a life-threatening event that suddenly came into our lives. It was a time filled with uncertainty and fear, going from living our dreams onstage, to a nightmare in an instant,” he began. “But today, we are filled with hope and relief as we share with you an update.”

“(Hayley’s) recovery process has been nothing short of a miracle,” he wrote. “She still has a ways to go with another surgery, hopefully in a few weeks, to insert a skull implant to replace the piece that was removed during the craniectomy.”

The dancer continued by thanking everyone for their support and the medical care that his wife received.

“It’s been a profound reminder of how fragile life can be and how quickly things can change. But, it has also shown us the incredible strength and resilience that lies within us and the power of having a supportive community around us,” he wrote, adding that they cannot express enough gratitude for everyone’s support, messages, prayers and “undeniable loving energy we have both felt during this time.”

He added that while this isn’t the holiday season either of them envisioned, “it’s one that we’re incredibly grateful to have. We look forward to cherishing these moments with a deeper appreciation for life and the people in it.”

What is a craniectomy?

A craniectomy is a surgery that removes a portion of the skull — in Erbert's case it was to address the blood pooling around the brain.

An intracranial hematoma occurs when a blood vessel splits in the brain and blood pools in the skull, according to the Mayo Clinic. It often occurs after a traumatic event, such as a car crash, fall or accident.

A day after the incident, Hough had shared a brief update, telling his followers that his wife was “now on the long road of recovery.”