Hayley Erbert’s Health: Updates on Derek Hough’s Wife After Her Craniectomy

The ‘DWTS’ judge detailed the 'possibility' of Hayley's dance comeback in a new interview following her health scare.

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Hayley Erbert and Derek Hough
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Fans are sending well wishes to Derek Hough and his wife, Hayley Erbert, after she was hospitalized last year. The Dancing With the Stars judge revealed that the fellow pro dancer underwent a craniectomy after performing in Washington D.C. on their “Symphony of Dance” tour in December 2023.

While speaking with E! on March 14, 2024, Derek said there was a “possibility” for his wife to make a comeback in dancing following her health scare.

To find out what happened to Hayley and how she’s doing now, keep reading.

What Happened to Derek Hough’s Wife Hayley Erbert? 

On December 7, 2023, Derek announced via Instagram that his wife had suffered a cranial hematoma and was rushed to the hospital amid their dance tour. 

“At the end of last night’s tout performance in Washington, D.C., my wife Hayley became disoriented and was taken to the hospital,” the choreographer captioned his post. “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.”

Fans and fellow DWTS co-stars were shocked to hear about Hayley’s health scare. While many sent their best wishes by commenting on Derek’s post, fitness trainer Meghan Tieff provided further insight into the moments leading up to Haley’s hospitalization. 

“I was in D.C. last night. The show was absolutely amazing,” she commented via Instagram, adding, “Hayley was fabulous … I am so sorry this happened. We were sad to not see her at the end of the show. I had a feeling something happened. Many prayers and sending love.” 

Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert performing on stage

What Is a Cranial Hematoma? 

The full medical term — intracranial hematoma — is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the skull collects with blood. This arises from either a burst blood vessel or from a traumatic injury, such as a fall. As the blood collects inside the skull, it may spread through brain tissue and press down onto the brain, according to Mayo Clinic. 

Treatment for the condition varies, according to the health website. The patient should be monitored for any neurological changes over time and undergo CT scans to check on their progress. Surgery is based on the type of hematoma the patient is suffering from. 

If the collection of blood is located in one portion of the head and has “changed from a solid clot to a liquid,” a surgeon may have to drain the liquid by drilling a hole into the skull. If the hematoma is large, a more substantial section of the patient’s skull may have to be opened in order to remove the blood. 

It could take up to three months for a patient to recover following the invasive surgery. Depending on how the patient is feeling, one might require occupational and physical therapy.

How Is Hayley Erbert Feeling Today? 

Per Derek’s Instagram statement, Hayley was in “stable condition” after her surgery. On December 8, Derek took to social media to provide fans with an update. “Hayley has always inspired me with her will, her strength, and her resilience and no more so than in the last 48 hrs,” he wrote in a statement. “She is now on the long road of recovery. Words cannot express how grateful and thankful we are for the support and love that you have given us. The kindness that we’ve been shown in this incredibly unfathomable, and life changing time is immeasurable.”

Derek completed the update with words of gratitude.  “The offers of assistance that have poured in have been so humbling and appreciated. Our hope is that as a family, we can somehow and someway pay it forward,” he wrote.

A week later, on Friday, December 15, the dance pro shared a first video of Hayley, along with an update, as the duo took a walk at the Washington monument. In the clip, Derek steadied his wife with his arm, with both bundling up in warm coats and Hayley wearing a protective helmet.

“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,” he captioned the emotional post in part. “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.”

Derek also shared that his wife would be having another surgery. “Her recovery process has been nothing short of a miracle,” he shared. “She still has a ways to go with another surgery, hopefully in a few weeks, to insert a skull implant to replace the piece that was removed during the craniectomy. It will restore the skull to its natural shape and protect the brain from injury.” He concluded the post with gratitude for her medical care and support from the community.

He gave another update on his wife’s health on Wednesday, December 20 with a message on his Instagram Story. “I strongly believe all the prayers that have been sent with the intention and love of Hayley’s recovery has helped so much. I can’t thank you all enough,” Derek wrote. “She is going in for surgery this morning to replace a large portion of her skull that was removed during her Craniectomy. Please keep her in your prayers as I believe the collective energy helped her through these past few weeks. We love you we thank you.”

A day later, on Thursday, December 21, Derek again took to social media to let fans know that the surgery had been a success and to express his joy. In the Instagram post, Derek sat close to his wife in a hospital bed, though her face couldn’t be seen.  “With immense relief, gratitude and overwhelming joy I’d like to share that Hayley’s cranioplasty surgery has been successfully completed as planned,” he wrote in part, nodding to the medical team who “saved her life” and completed the surgery.

Derek also said the family was “touched” by the outpouring of support and prayers. “This surgery marks a significant milestone in my wife’s recovery journey, and your support has played a crucial role in getting us here,” he concluded the post. “We are filled with hope and optimism for the future, knowing she is on the path to a full recovery, surrounded by such a loving community.”

When asked about Hayley on the red carpet for the This Is Me… Now film, Derek gushed about how strong his wife has been through her health battle. “She’s unbelievable,” he told ET“When I married her, I knew she was strong, but I really didn’t realize how strong she really was until now.”

Derek continued and said he was “in awe” of Hayley’s strength. “She’s incredible. She really is a miracle and I don’t really throw that word around lightly, but she really is,” he told the outlet.

While speaking with E! on March 14, Derek noted that it was possible for Hayley to return to the dance floor.

“There’s a possibility, there really is,” he said. “I almost need to rename the [dance] tour to the Miracle Tour or something because if there’s a moment where she’s with us and joining us on stage, it’s going to be unbelievably special. I don’t know even know how I’m going to through it. I’m an emotional guy.”