LAKE PALESTINE - A high school senior is in critical condition after a jet skiing incident on Lake Palestine. A family from Joshua, south of Fort Worth, was vacationing in East Texas when his step brother attempted to splash him on a jet ski, causing a nearly fatal crash.
The accident happened on June 20, according to family members.
Taking his first steps Sunday, nearly a week after the accident, 18-year-old Tyler Haessley's mother, Shanna Campbell, said it's a wonderful relief.
She said the day of Tyler's accident is one she'll never forget.
"All I saw is his face, facing the water, and I was like, 'Get him! Get him!,'" she said.
His stepbrother tried splashing Tyler with a jet ski, when he was hit in the head. The head-on collision with the jet ski caused severe damage, cracking his skull and knocking him out instantly.
"I never heard her scream before so I knew it was really, really bad," said Tyler's younger brother Curtis Haessley.
He was riding the jet ski that hit Tyler. When he saw what happened, he thought his brother was dead.
Tyler was airlifted to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, where Campbell said he had two surgeries to stop the bleeding from his brain and blood clots.
With a broken forehead, a portion was removed to relieve pressure on the brain.
The incident happened during the blended family's third annual trip to Lake Palestine.
She said Tyler couldn't wait to go. Last year, his mother said he forgot to request off work, and he wouldn't make the same mistake twice.
"He even double checked he requested off the right days," she said.
To families spending time on the lake this summer, Campbell shared her advice.
First, don't splash anyone with a jet ski. Second, wear a life jacket.
"He would've sunk to the ground," she said. "I would've lost him if he wasn't, because he lost conscience right away."
The family has a gofundme account set up, and they are asking for $50,000 to help with hospital bills.
Tyler remains in intensive care, but the family tells CBS19 his speech is slowly coming back. He will be transported to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth as soon as he's able to make the trip.
You can keep up with Tyler's recovery on Facebook.
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