A miracle recovery: the story of Hayden Brookshire


Contributed by Hayden Brookshire

Brookshire relaxes on a boat a few days after getting out of the hospital.

It was a normal day for sophomore Hayden Brookshire, he was riding his ATV on a gravel road in his grandparents’ neighborhood on June 4, when he slammed on his front brakes causing him to fly into the air.

Brookshire opened his eyes to realize the ATV was rolling toward him, so he decided to kick it with his right leg to avoid being run over by the vehicle.

“After my ATV passed my head I turned to the left and saw my left arm above my head twisted and I was not able to move it. I knew it was definitely broken,” Brookshire said.

After calling his grandmother, he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

“Once I got in the ambulance they stuck me seven times before they got a vein. Usually it only takes once for me. I later found out they were not able to get a vain well because I had severe internal bleeding. When I arrived at Floyd hospital they took scans and saw the internal bleeding,” Brookshire said.

Internal bleeding and a broken arm were not the only injuries Brookshire experienced. He had a broken pelvis, twisted right ankle, ruptured spleen, ruptured kidney, a few broken ribs and a few spine fractures.

“They strongly suggested I be life-flighted via helicopter to Erlinger in Tennessee for the surgery. I had my surgery there two days later on the sixth of June,” Brookshire said.

All of this took place during the pandemic, which made visiting hard for Brookshire’s family. He couldn’t have any visitors during his week long stay at Erlinger and could only see his family for a limited time after returning to Floyd Hospital for two weeks.

“I was not able to stand without getting sick for about four days after surgery. Then I was on a walker for a little over a month. My doctor was very surprised about how fast I recovered,” Brookshire said.

According to MedicineNet, a kidney injury takes at least at least six weeks to heal; and according to Intermountain Healthcare, a spleen rupture can take anywhere from three to 12 weeks to completely recover from.

Despite all his injuries, Brookshire was able to recover and come back to GHC for his third semester.

Cindy Wheeler, his English 1102 professor said, “Hayden told me about his accident on the first day of class when we were catching up. The story he told was terrifying, and I am amazed by his miraculous recovery. Hayden is a diligent student and a genuinely nice person, and I’m glad he’s on the mend,” Wheeler said.

Brookshire was able to get off a walker right before school began this year and has just wrapped up his physical therapy. “I am doing amazing now. I am back to how I was before the wreck,” Brookshire said.

“I am very grateful for the doctors, nurses, physical therapist, family, and friends who helped and supported me along my recovery,” Brookshire said.