AN ‘UNSHAKEABLE WILL’

Staff Written Community, Featured

By Dianne Yost

staff writer

There are profound points in life where time begins to be measured before an event and after it. If you’re lucky, the realm between the before and the after holds the space where miracles manifest.

Thursday, March 28 started out like an ordinary beautiful day in Madison for Tyler Boyd, a husband, father of two girls and owner of Madison-based Torchlight Home Inspections. He drove over to a local Madison home to perform a home inspection, set up his ladder against the side of a two-story home and began to climb to the roof – something he has done many, many times. But, this day would be different. 

From the roof – in the blink of an eye – something caused him to loose his balance. He plummeted two stories down and his body slammed onto a concrete driveway. 

No one was at the house when the accident happened, but miraculously the homeowner drove up into the driveway and found Boyd standing, bleeding from injuries on his head with his hands down on the hood of his car. Boyd, a 2006 graduate of the University of Georgia and a former United States Marine Corps helicopter pilot of nine years with service in Afghanistan, somehow managed to get into the passenger seat of his car, and the homeowner drove him to Madison’s Morgan Medical Center. 

Once stabilized, Boyd was transported to Athens Piedmont Hospital, where the full extent of his injuries came into clear focus: traumatic brain injury, fractures to his back, a collapsed right lung that had a liter of blood in it, and several broken ribs. 

“Thank God for miracles. We’re blessed he’s still here,” said Joyce Diggett, whose daughter Sarah Beth Boyd, a local Morgan County High School educator and yoga instructor at Holding Space Yoga, is married to Tyler. 

“He has this unshakable will to get back home to our family and my cracked-opened heart,” said Sarah Beth. 

And, when he does get home, Sarah Beth says it will be due to prayer. “He’s had the medicine, the fine doctors, the painkillers – all of these things. But yeah, I just know it’s prayer creating these miracles.  Every single person that’s praying for us . . . they’re prayer warriors as my brother calls it.”

As to Tyler’s extraordinary strength in the face of grave injuries, she claims it’s his fierce spirit. “The ICU is a dark place.  You’re not even supposed to be talking. But, this man – he was standing up in the ICU, standing up with a broken back, with broken ribs, with a collapsed lung, with a brain injury. The ICU nurses were like: ‘What the heck?’”

Indeed, the miracle is that Boyd is alive and is responding to treatment. “He’s determined and is beginning to sort things out in his mind. You just can’t get that man down,” said Diggett. 

Doctors told Sarah Beth that Tyler’s injuries were so severe he would require extensive long-term brain rehabilitation in a center. “Over the weekend, he was accepted to Shepherd Center in Atlanta. They had a bed open for him,” she said.

But on Monday, April 8, this story added yet another miracle. “We got the best news today. We were told Tyler is too high functioning to go to Shepherd,” Sarah Beth said. 

Although doctors say he will still require extensive time to heal and rehabilitate from his broken bones and brain injury. 

Diggett set up a GoFundMe account (www.gofundme.com/recovery-fund-for-capt-tyler-boyd) on April 1 to help the family focus on his recovery. Tyler is the only employee of his small business and will be out of work for a long period of time, and the family faces uncovered expenses. 

 “With all of us assisting, we can take the financial burden off of this family so that they may focus on his healing,” Diggett said on the gofundme page.

In the span of nine days from April 1 to April 9, the fund has raised $21,885. 

Sarah Beth is overwhelmed with the support the family has received. “It’s been a rollercoaster.”

“We think of our day-to-day lives as that daily grind,” she says.  And, now she realizes that the daily grind is a miracle in and of itself.

“I just want to be normal again. I want to go back to the daily grind. I just want that again, and I will cherish every moment that I get to wake up and take care of my children and husband,” she said.  

“Enjoy the rut — that rut is a miracle that many people would do anything for in the midst of suffering.  Suffering can actually be seen as a catalyst to pure joy when our hearts crack open to God. And although most people are in the midst of self exploration, it’s when we surrender that we truly find ourselves and our faith.”

Tyler Boyd was discharged from the hospital on Monday, April 8 and is recuperating and healing at his home in Madison.

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