Derek Hough’s Wife Hayley Erbert Reflects on 2023’s ‘Life-Changing Moments’ After Craniectomy

The pro dancer shared a montage video of her 2023 highlights, including her and Derek's wedding and the aftermath of her surgery.

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Hayley Erbert and Derek Hough
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Hayley Erbert ended 2023 on a difficult note, but that isn’t stopping her from pushing ahead. The 29-year-old pro dancer penned an Instagram note on December 31 alongside a montage video of the best moments from last year. One of the moments from the clip was taken at her wedding with husband Derek Hough. 

“2023 was a year of the highest of highs and some life-changing moments,” Hayley captioned her post. “I’m so grateful for the people in my life that have stood by me through it ALL. Cheers to a beautiful new year of new adventures, lots of love and so much more life to live.” 

Hayley’s post came less than a month after she was rushed to the hospital right after her and Derek, 38, performed in Washington D.C. for their Symphony of Dance tour. 

“At the end of last night’s tour performance in Washington, D.C., my wife Hayley became disoriented and was taken to the hospital,” Derek wrote via Instagram in early December. “She was diagnosed with a cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel and required an emergency craniectomy. She is in stable condition. I want to thank the first responders and medical personnel who have cared for and continue to care for her. I ask for your prayers and positivity during this time.” 

A cranial hematoma is caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain and can lead to symptoms such as headache, vomiting, drowsiness and dizziness, per Mayo Clinic. 

Fortunately, Hayley has been recovering well following her surgery, her husband pointed out in a separate Instagram message. On December 15, days following her operation, the Dancing With the Stars judge shared a video of him and Hayley walking together, while she wore a helmet on her head. 

“As you all know, the past week has been a challenging journey for us due to a life-threatening event that suddenly came into our lives,” Derek began in his caption. “It was a time filled with uncertainty and fear, going from living our dreams onstage, to a nightmare in an instant. But today, we are filled with hope and relief as we share with you an update. Hayley is doing well. Her recovery process has been nothing short of a miracle.”

Derek also noted that Hayley has to undergo a separate surgery “to insert a skull implant to replace the piece that was removed during the craniectomy,” which will “restore the skull to its natural shape and protect the brain from injury.”  

“It’s been a profound reminder of how fragile life can be and how quickly things can change,” he continued. “But, it has also shown us the incredible strength and resilience that lies within us and the power of having a supportive community around us.  We cannot express enough gratitude to each of you for your unwavering support, messages, prayers and undeniable loving energy we have both felt during this time. While this isn’t the holiday season either of us envisioned, it’s one that we’re incredibly grateful to have. We look forward to cherishing these moments with a deeper appreciation for life and the people in it.”