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Hayley Erbert Reflects on Life Coming to a ‘Screeching Halt’ After Learning She Needed Brain Surgery

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Hayley Erbert is looking back on everything she has overcome after learning she needed emergency brain surgery last year.

“The Symphony of Dance tour has only been over for a few days and I still haven’t quite found the words to express my emotions,” Erbert, 29, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, May 23, alongside a slideshow of various photos from her performance. “This tour was truly one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life.”

Erbert kicked off the tour with husband Derek Hough in September 2023. She recalled feeling “on cloud nine” as she and Hough, who were newlyweds at the time, got to travel across the country and dance for thousands of fans. However, the couple’s happy moments turned dark months later.

“Then December 6th rolled around, and everything came to a screeching halt,” she reflected, referring to her emergency craniectomy. “When there were talks of resuming the tour a few months later, there was so much uncertainty around it for me.”

Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert

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In December 2023, Hough, 38, shared that his wife was diagnosed with cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel. He noted that Erbert was in “stable condition” after undergoing the operation.

An intracranial hematoma is a “collection of blood within the skull,” per the Mayo Clinic. The surgery to treat the condition involved removing a portion of the skull to relieve the pressure from the extra blood.

After having a successful surgery, Erbert focused on her recovery with the hopes of returning to the stage as soon as she could. She was cleared by her doctor in April and resumed the tour that month.

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“But I DID IT! This tour reignited many parts of me that have been dim for so long,” she penned. “So, for that, I cannot thank everyone who came out to support us on this wild journey enough. I am so grateful to still be here, with you all, doing what I love. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🫶🏼.”

When Erbert returned to the stage at the April 14 show in Melbourne, Florida, the dancer received a standing ovation. The crowd’s reception made Erbert emotional as she teared up from their support. Following the show, Hough shared that the moment meant a lot to both of them.

“Wow!! What a fantastic show!!! What a beautiful first show back,” he wrote via his Instagram Story at the time. “We were all crying tears of happiness with you.”

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