Sunday night, September 18, 2016, I received 'that phone call' that is every parent's worst nightmare. "Tyler has been in an accident", Tyler's best friend and roommate said. My heart sank. It was 11:35 pm and I was already asleep, so I jumped up, got dressed and headed toward St. Anthony's Hospital in Alton, IL. Driving in an absolute daze and not knowing any information, I got about half way there and received another call that they were air flighting him to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. I re-directed my route and feared for the worst. Praying continuously as I tried to drive safely but also get there as quickly as I could; the feeling is one I would not wish on any parent.
The past 48 hours has been filled with unimaginable fear, tears, immense love from family and friends....and a lot of prayers. One of the most talented, bright, loving, and giving souls was almost taken from us Sunday night....and is fighting hard to stay!!
My son, Tyler, who we know as the "giver" to those around him, was visiting a friend's new apartment and they stepped out onto a 2nd story fire escape platform when the structure gave way and they fell approximately 25 feet to a concrete alley. His friends have undergone surgeries for several broken bones....and we ask you to pray for their healing and recovery as well.
When the platform gave way, Tyler unfortunately landed on his head. He has severe swelling and bleeding on his brain and multiple fractures in his skull and face. His frontal lobe took the brunt of the fall. A very deep laceration above his right eye means that it is unclear at this point if he will have use of that eye. He is intubated and in a medically induced coma to allow his brain to use all of it's energy to heal. He is unrecognizable today from the swelling and bruising.
A monitor was placed in his skull to constantly track his brain pressure, as this is a crucial measurement that tells doctors what is going on inside the skull. The doctors are wonderful and have taken time with us throughout the day to explain exactly what they are doing to help Tyler. We ask for prayer, not only for all of us, but also for the medical team handling his treatment, that they might have a sense of guidance and direction as they tend to Tyler.
Emily and I, along with several family members and Tyler's close friends have been by his side since he was airlifted to Barnes Sunday night. We are very scared, but also joyful that he is physically here with us; that God has allowed us another day with the talented singer, the super driven young man, the ever-loyal son, the loving brother, the giving spirit, and the great friend, Tyler Green. The outpouring of love from Tyler's friends and colleagues has been overwhelming. It is quite evident that Tyler has had a positive impact on so many lives and has made such a difference in his 22 years here on earth. Our prayer is that we will again see 'that' Tyler in the coming months.
A post on Tyler's Facebook page this spring explains his incredible drive, his love for life (and how grateful he is for it) to a T:
"What an amazing and stressful couple of weeks I have had. From singing at the Bernie Sanders Rally to performing my first full length Opera role in German to winning the Crescendo competition at Union Avenue Opera, I am so lucky to have all of these opportunities. I wouldn't be able to do it without the support from my friends and family, and also my amazing voice teacher, Dr. Marc Schapman. I also must thank Tyler Thornberry for his constant support and being my taxi driver while my car was out of commission!! Now, I will go in to hiding and sleep for a week!"
Tyler just graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in May 2016 with a degree in Vocal Performance and Music Business. He has a God-given vocal talent and it has been a joy to watch him blossom and grow during his college years.
To give you a sense for the type of person Tyler is, he lights up a room when he enters, is very driven and demanding of himself and subtly encourages and helps those around him to become the best they can be. He has a way of doing all of this within a loving, fun and responsible way, so as to include others, be considerate of their feelings and encourage them.
This tragic event happened just as Tyler had taken a year off after college to research and decide where to attend graduate school. He had thoroughly researched schools and professors that might be compatible with him. He was seeking an environment that would be challenging and help him excel and pursue his dream of developing his vocal talent further and continuing to pursue performance opportunities.
In his young 22 years, Tyler has enjoyed many operatic experiences, mostly due to his unrelenting drive and passion to perform. He is currently a member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, the Bach Society and is a Bach Society Young Artist, has performed with various opera companies in the St. Louis area, was extensively involved in numerous performances at SIUE and has even directed some productions. He is always looking for new and challenging experiences to learn from.
Tyler and two of his best friends were scheduled to leave today to go on a graduate school trip. They had planned to visit CCM - College Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, and take vocal lessons with professors, tour the campus and conservatory. In addition, he was wanting to apply and hopefully gain an audition (at least a few!) at Boston University, the Boston Conservatory, The New England Conservatory, University of Michigan, and Eastman School of Music at University of Rochester.
Needless to say, on a day when he should be excited about his first grad school tour, Tyler is in a dark world of unknowns and the melody is far too dissonant. Our prayer is that this beautiful life, this beautiful person, this beautiful voice will be returned to us.
The future for Tyler is unknown at this point. Closed head injuries are unpredictable. Doctors say the next 48 hours are very critical in beginning to see what the treatment path might look like for him.
Please join with me in praying for God's healing hand to be upon Tyler and to guide the doctors with his treatment plan. We are praying for a miracle!