As families prepare to enjoy the holiday weekend, one North Texas family will be spending it in the hospital.
An 18-year-old from Joshua was out on Lake Palestine with his family when a freak accident sent him to the hospital. His mother has a message she wants everyone who is about to celebrate the holiday to hear.
Tyler Haessley was tubing at an East Texas lake on June 20 when the accident happened. He was in the water trying to climb back onto his tube when his older stepbrother who was driving a jet ski tried to splash him. But the water was choppy that day
“I thought I lost him. I seriously did,” said Shanna Campbell, Haessley’s mom. “All I hear from my stepson is, 'Did I hit him?'”
Campbell says her stepson accidentally ran into Haessley, striking him in the head.
“As he was getting his face up, all I saw was blood going down his face,” she said.
Haessley’s family members, who watched all of it happen, called 911. He was flown to East Texas Medical Center in in Tyler.
“He wasn't even moving,” Campbell said. “I was terrified.”
Haessley has since undergone two brain surgeries and a blood transfusion. His mom shot video of him taking his first steps since the accident. He'll spend his Fourth of July in a hospital and will soon move to Cook Children's in Fort Worth to start rehab.
“What would you say to families who are going to be at the lake this weekend?” FOX4 Reporter Allison Harris asked Campbell.
“Use the water crafts the right way,” she warned. “So you don't have to deal with what I've dealt with for almost two weeks.”
Campbell says her family goes to the lake often, and they've been around boats and jet skis before. Again, she wants to use this story as a reminder to be safe on the water.