A gymnast who nearly lost his life to traumatic brain injury in 2014 has celebrated a major milestone – graduating from college.
Blake Hyland, 23, graduated from Texas Tech University this weekend with a degree in communications and a minor in human development and family studies.
He received honors magna cum laude, KWTX reported.
Just walking the stage at the United Supermarkets Arena in Waco, Texas was a major accomplishment for Hyland, who spent years relearning how to walk and speak.
At age 14, Hyland was practicing a new flip trick into a foam pit when he accidentally hit his head on an exposed piece of concrete.
Immediately after his injury, doctors said Hyland had only a 50 percent chance of survival.
The injury ended his time as a competitive athlete, but Hyland applied the same determination to his recovery, and he got better much faster than his doctors expected.
“I wasn’t even supposed to live,” the graduate told KCBD.
“They told my parents that if I lived, I would pretty much spend the rest of my life in a nursing home.”
In 2018, Hyland decided to pursue a college degree.
It wasn’t easy for him, but Hyland made it through with the help of his friends, family, and faith.
The graduate is from China Springs, Texas, about 20 minutes northwest of Waco.
He attended Texas Tech, although he had a program that allowed him to take courses at McLennan Community College, which is much closer to where he lives than the main Lubbock campus.
To celebrate his graduation, Hyland and some of his friends and family take a trip to Cancun, Mexico.
Now that he’s out of school, Hyland plans to either continue his career as a motivational speaker or become a specialist in children’s life in a hospital.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6959287/gymnast-blake-hyland-brain-injury-texas-tech-graduation/ A gymnast who ‘shouldn’t live’ after traumatic brain injury speaks up in major milestone