In early December, Hayley became "disoriented" after a performance and was taken to the hospital, where she discovered she had a cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel and required an emergency craniectomy.
A couple of weeks later, the pro dancer had a cranioplasty to replace a large portion of her skull that had been removed during her prior surgery.
Derek and Hayley made their first public appearance together when they went out walking in Los Angeles, CA, after her two surgeries on Saturday, February 3, Peoplereported.
And on Monday, February 5, Derek and Hayley posted a lengthy Instagram video, sharing details about Hayley's journey to recovery, new look, and new "outlook on life."
After Derek noted in the video how it's a new year for them, Hayley interjected that she also has a new haircut.
Hayley, 29, allowed fans to see her shaved head and the large scar she has going down her middle part.
"[It's] a new scar, a new sac of fluid on the side of my face -- which is supposed to eventually go away, but right now it's still there," Hayley said with a laugh, showing that she's in good spirits.
Derek, 38, pointed out how his wife, whom he married in August 2023, has a little bit of cerebral spinal fluid draining out of her head near her temple.
"I've also got a new skull," Hayley said. "But yeah, also a new outlook on life. Life is so precious. Just spend time with the ones you love. Hold them close because you never know what could happen."
The video began with Hayley sharing how she's had "quite the journey" since the end of 2023.
"There has been so much that has happened in two months, lots of emotions and all the things," Hayley shared.
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
Derek agreed and elaborated, "We've had the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, but I have to say that throughout this experience, this woman has been unbelievable. Her perseverance, her acceptance of the whole situation, and her strength -- it's been remarkable to witness firsthand."
Derek added, "She really is a miracle and it has been miraculous, and it's still a journey."
Hayley admitted that, to this day, she still has "really good days and really bad days" emotionally and physically.
"But I'm doing so much better every single day. Truly, there is so much progress every day and I'm so grateful for that," Hayley noted.
Hayley went on to recall a specific moment in the hospital when she woke up from her first brain surgery in Washington, D.C. after one of the tour stops for her "Symphony of Dance" show with Derek.
"I had just woken up from my first surgery and Derek sat at the bottom of my bed and was like, 'Babe, there's so many people thinking about you. Thereâ€™'s so many people sending love to you,'" Hayley said.
"And I remember just looking at him and just saying, 'You didn't even have to tell me that. I can feel it.' I genuinely felt that through my body and I felt it in my heart and I felt it in my soul."
Hayley and Derek both started to cry at this point, as Hayley thanked family, friends and fans for their love, messages, energy, light, and prayers.
"It means so much to me and to us as a family, and genuinely, I believe that it's what got me through this a little bit faster. And it's helped me heal. It's what helped me stay positive throughout the entire experience," Hayley explained.
After Hayley said she's "grateful" for all of the support, Derek went on to say, "It's been a wild one, to say the least. I'm just so thankful for everybody and for this woman, who is unbelievable and is impressing me each and every day."
The video ended with the couple sharing a kiss, and with Hayley teasing that she'll share the whole story of her health battle at a later time.
"We will eventually share, but we're not quite there [yet]. But we will," Hayley concluded.
Hayley went to the hospital only one day after Dancing with the Stars aired its Season 32 finale on ABC, when Marvel star Xochitl Gomez and her professional partner Val Chmerkovskiy were crowned champions.
Hayley faced another health scare around this same time last year, when she and Derek got into a snowy and "scary" accident while driving on icy roads together.
Hayley and Derek had posted the same video on Instagram in December 2022 that showed Hayley receiving stitches on the side of her face after their car hit a tree and then recovering with a bunch of junk food.
"On December 12, Derek and I got into a pretty scary car accident in the mountains. Our accident involved a steep hill, icy roads, a tree, and worst of all, the fear that we would slide off the mountain," Hayley captioned the video in part.
While Hayley said they were "both okay" and she walked away from the accident just "a little banged up" with "a swollen face and four stitches" above her eyebrow," Derek wrote in his then-fiancee's comments that she didn't "remember anything" after the crash and she was "dazed afterwards."