Central Texan who fought for his life after freak gymnastics accident is graduating from college with honors

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 6:10 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas 23-year-old who fought to live following a freak gymnastics accident as a teenager which left him with a traumatic brain injury is overcoming the odds, again, this time graduating college with honors.

Blake Hyland is graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Communications with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies through the Texas Tech University at Waco program at McLennan Community College.

It’s quite the accomplishment for anyone, especially, Blake. His world was turned upside down when at 14 years old in 2014 he was attempting a new gymnastics trick which involved flipping and twisting in the air and then landing on his feet in a foam pit. Blake ended up hitting his head on an exposed piece of concrete on the way down.

He was a highly-skilled competitive gymnast at the time of the accident. Doctors didn’t know if Blake would live, and if he did survive, if he’d ever walk, talk or do much of anything again.

Blake has had a miraculous recovery, which now includes graduating college.

“It feels amazing, and it’s just amazing that I’m graduating from college,” Blake said. “Especially since I suffered from a TBI in 2014 and doctors said I was not even supposed to live after that. It’s just amazing to see where I’ve come.”

Blake credits his parents Cindy and Pat Hyland and his tutor Reese Schuster for getting him this far.

He says the support pushed him to achieve more than anyone ever dreamed.

“Very much so, from numerous people, especially with my tutor. I have a guy that comes and helps me with all my classes every day and he and I, believe me, get on each other’s nerves,” Blake laughed.

Blake says he hopes his story inspires others struggling to never give up.

“I always had faith in myself. I got that problem. I’ve had too much faith in myself,” he smiled.

Blake’s story recently hit the big screen in a new documentary called ‘Hi, I’m Blake.’

It debuted on various streaming platforms and is hit #2 on Apple TV.

Directed by family friend Jon Michael Simpson, the documentary details the Hylands’ struggle to paint a new picture for their lives while capturing the recovery of a boy with profound hope.

The documentary is streaming on Apple TV, Amazon, Altavod and available at www.hiImBlake.com.

Blake says he plans to use his degree to be a child life specialist at a hospital or further his career as a professional motivational speaker.

His witty personality, humor and smile have also made him a popular employee at Bitty and Beau’s coffee shop in downtown Waco, a business which employees those with disabilities.

Blake will travel to Lubbock with his family to walk the stage for his Texas Tech graduation on December 17.

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