Teen's remarkable recovery after gymnastics accident

DALLAS, Texas -- It was just a routine gymnastics practice... until 14-year-old Blake Hyland flipped, and then missed the foam landing pit.

His head slammed into the concrete floor.

Medics airlifted him from Waco to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

Doctors gave him a 50-50 chance at survival.

The wait for answers was excruciating.

"There was nothing... that was the scariest part," said Pat Hyland, Blake's dad.

Day and night, Pat and Cyndi Hyland prayed over their son.

"You're just waiting for that one little twitch... that one little eye-opening," Cindi said.

After more than five weeks, Blake did come out of his coma — although confused, and in pain.

"He said, 'I. Don't. Like. This.' And I just broke down in tears," his mom recalled.

Doctors ran a series of tests on Blake's brain. It was the news the Hylands had been waiting for.

"And we were about to leave, and I remember one of the incredible nurses — I mean, just an angel — she said: 'It doesn't matter what they say... what matters is what Blake does.'"

As expected, brain damage was severe. Blake had suffered several strokes.

"When they showed us the images, it was emotional, I'm not going to lie. It was sad... a punch to the gut... the worst feeling you could ever imagine as a parent," Pat said. "But I remember at that point turned to my wife, grabbed her hand, and I looked at the doctors and I said: 'We appreciate your diagnosis, but our God is bigger than that, and our son will walk out of this hospital one day.'"

It started with Blake moving one leg.

Then both legs.

Sitting up.

Then he started getting out of bed.

And ultimately, he attempted to walk, despite his frail body.

Blake's physical healing was remarkable, and his spiritual journey is powerful.

"Thank you everyone for your prayers," he said in a video posted to his Facebook page.

Then, nearly a year later, Pat Hyland's prophecy was realized.

"Blake's coming out!" shouted his dad on their home video of Blake walking out of the hospital.

"The power of prayer is the strongest healing thing that's out there," Blake said. "I know that God's always by my side, and with all the people that are praying behind me, I know that I can do anything."

And he's putting in the work.

By day, he's in therapy to improve his memory, and facing constant physical challenges at the Centre for Neuro Skills in Irving.

By night, his family lives at the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.

Blake said he wouldn't go back and erase the day he was injured; he said his story helps lift others up, and that staying positive is medicine for the heart.

"Where Blake is at is not common... it's a true miracle," his father said. "God did intervene that day ... He intervened in such a great way that our son isn't the same child we remembered before... he's better."

"I've never had a bad day," Blake insisted, saying he has new purpose, and perspective.

It doesn't mean life is easy; he just chooses laughter over sorrow. He tells jokes, sings, and even picks on his therapist.

"She looks so nice, but she hides it deep inside," Blake said.

Blake creates moments. He says waiting is wasteful.

It's with that contagious spirit that he will start 10th grade in August, ready to hit his next goal.

"I wish to be able to jump up and down," he said.

Simple things bring joy, a grace his parents believe is part of a bigger plan.

"Where is God leading him?" Cyndi Hyland asked. "There's a purpose behind all of this, and where is that going to be in 10 years?"

Blake will finally be going back home next month.


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