No joke! KU mom gets surprise call concerning recovering son from Bill Self himself


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Hayes Miller of Olathe, Kansas, is making remarkable strides just weeks after a serious motorcycle accident. The May 4 accident left Hayes with a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures. As a result, he spent two weeks in the ICU at the University of Kansas Medical Center in a medically induced coma before coming to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital to begin the healing process.

Throughout his ordeal, his mother says the pace of his recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. It's even drawn the attention of KU basketball coach Bill Self who’s cheering on his recovery.

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Hayes Miller uses high-tech equipment—like the Proprio Balance machine ... “If he’s walking in the grass or something like that he’s able to catch his balance if he is on an uneven surface,” says Drew Burggraff, physical therapist at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. Along with familiar football drills outside to challenge his balance and reaction time. “I feel improvements in my eye and ear, my right hand every day,” says Hayes.

Improvements every day along with therapists like Drew are part of Hayes’ new normal at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. This after a motorcycle accident in early May caused a traumatic brain injury and multiple fractures. “The very first thing Hayes ever mouthed to me was ‘I’m sorry’ and a tear went down his cheek and at that moment I knew it was Hayes, I knew it was it was him,” says Tammy Hayes.

Hayes spent two weeks in a medically induced coma at the University of Kansas Medical Center before coming to Madonna to continue the healing process. "I can see the families of the new patients that are coming in since I’ve been here. I see my face on them. I see what I know I felt when I walked through those doors. That fear and desperation and you don’t know what you’re going to come out with. I just want to grab their hands and say, ‘You know, it’s going to be okay,'" says Tammy.

Okay, first in a wheelchair, to walking with little assistance now skipping down the hallway—Hayes continues to improve. He credits the support of his family and friends in helping him make gains—one of whom just happens to be the head coach of the Kansas University’s basketball team. "I saw I had a voicemail and I checked it again because he says this is Bill Self with the basketball team and I’m thinking who’s pranking me?"

Recalls Hayes, "Bill Self took time out of his day to call my mom and tell her that he is aware of my story and everything that’s happened. Of my progress, how far I’m it’s amazing."

Tammy says, "He was very wonderful man. Very concerned. Asked a lot of questions. So very thoughtful and so he got the big package and was so thrilled."

The KU student says when he’s able, it’s back to college to fulfill his goals of becoming a high school history teacher and football coach. He says this experience has been both emotional and spiritual. "I’ve grown closer to God, grown closer to my parents, grown closer to my brother, more appreciative of my friends. Honestly I’m just more thankful for everything. I mean, how can you think of life when you’ve been in a life-threatening situation?" asks Hayes.

"I just believe with all my heart this is God’s plan and this is the beginning of it, it’s not the end of it. It’s a journey and a journey we’re just starting together. And a journey I’m so thankful I’ve been giving a front row seat to," says Tammy.

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