By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Tyler Handrick — who has been hospitalized for several weeks since hitting his head during a skateboard accident — is slowly recovering. The family was gearing up to move him to Texas NeuroRehab Center in Austin yesterday.
Tyler, a 2012 Vandegrift High School graduate, was longboarding with a friend on September 14. He wasn’t wearing a helmet when he either caught a rock or the curb and fell hitting his head, said his sister Leah Handrick.
He was rushed to the hospital and put on life support in the ICU at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center. He has been slowly progressing. On Sunday, doctors started weaning him off the ventilator.
“He has been doing awesome! Breathing with very little help all on his own like a champ,” Leah said.
As of Monday, Tyler had been opening his eyes and mouth more. “His ticklishness is back! They cut the rest of his hair off yesterday so he is back to his buzz cut! Still moving those arms and legs on occasion and moving his shoulders,” Leah said.
Tyler has had many visitors at the hospital. He was very active at Austin Christian Fellowship and went on a mission trip to Nicaragua.
Family friend Cindy Silvas is hopeful with his progress this week.
“He is responding to the nurses and his mother by squeezing their hand in command, and he is completely off his sedation,” Silvas said.
These are major milestones. Early on, surgeons had to remove the left part of Tyler’s skull “to allow for his brain to swell as much as it needed to.” Last week, he was fitted for a helmet to protect his brain where the skull is missing.
“Things are progressing, slowly, but we will take it,” Silvas said.
Plans are to transfer Tyler to Texas Neuro this week where he will start a long journey of rehabilitation.
Courtney Silvas, Cindy’s daughter and friend of Tyler, created the website http://fundly.com/tyler-handrick to keep friends and family up to date and to raise money for his treatment. The $5,000 goal is almost met.
An account has been set up to help the Cedar Park family with medical expenses too at any Wells Fargo branch.
“Continue to pray for my amazing brother. We have seen how powerful the prayers can be and we need them to continue! He is fighting,” Leah said.