Brain Injury Survivor Stories

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kelley Hyland

BY SARAH BOYER
STAFF WRITER 

After Kelley Hyland suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident on Nov. 1, 2007, doctors told his family on several occasions that there was “no hope.” But his family says they have learned that sometimes God has other plans.

Hyland was returning home to Phelan from work in Moreno Valley, where he was a deputy for Riverside County, when a truck pulled in front of him on Highway 138. Hyland struck the rear of the truck and was then airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. He remained in a coma for nearly nine months.

“The doctors told us he would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life,” recalled his wife, Vicki.

But on Christmas Eve 2008, Kelley returned home, where he has continued to recover.

“He can read, write and drive his motorized wheelchair around,” said his mother, Marcia Hyland. “It is only by God’s grace, mercy and a multitude of prayers from around the world that Kelley is alive today.”

Vicki Hyland agreed and recalled some of her prayers for her husband.
“I would say, ‘God, he’s yours if you decide to take him home, but if you decide to leave him here, please help him to get better,’” Vicki said. And in spite of some frightening moments along the way, Kelley has exceeded all his doctors’ expectations.

When Vicki recently took Kelley to his office in Moreno Valley to retrieve some personal belongings, he drove his wheelchair to his locker and told his co-workers to expect him back in a year. A short time later, he took the microphone during a church service and told the congregation of these plans.

“He is a fighter and I have no doubt that he’ll return to law enforcement in some capacity,” Vicki said.

Vicki said she attributes her husband’s recovery, in part, to the scriptures she read to him every day.

“I’ve met so many moms with children who suffered from brain injuries and I always tell them not to lose faith — to love, touch and read the Bible to their children. That’s what I did with Kelley, and I never left without prayers and kisses. Other people I’ve seen with no one who did this for them haven’t made the same kind of progress,” Vicki said.

Vicki also recalled the people from all over the world who have prayed for Kelley. She said everyone from Phelan Community Church, where Kelley’s father, Jim Hyland, is the pastor had prayed for Kelley. They asked congregations of other churches to pray, and countless people the family met during Kelley’s hospital stays did the same.

“Eventually, we had people praying from all over the U.S. and even from a church in Scotland,” Vicki said.

Vicki has also created a Web page where anyone can read about Kelley’s experiences, share prayers and track his progress. Hyland’s Web site can be viewed at www.caringbridge.com.

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Author: Lisa Moss
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