TO HELL AND BACK: Local woman back on her feet after getting brain injury during wisdom teeth removal

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ROSSVILLE, Kan. (KSNT) — Getting your wisdom teeth removed is something almost everyone will go through. It’s kind of like getting braces as a teen. Something that isn’t common though is getting your wisdom teeth pulled, then suffering a brain injury, going into a coma, and learning how to walk and talk again.

A local woman went through hell and back getting back on her feet to a new normal after a routine visit to the dentist turns into the unexpected.

March 19, 2018, started off as a regular day for Mallory Hammer. She was getting ready for an appointment to get her wisdom teeth taken out, and as she laid down and doctors put her under anesthesia, she never imagined what would happen next.

“It was just an unfortunate accident,” Kyle Hammer said. “She was getting her wisdom teeth removed. And there were some complications during the actual surgery itself. She had to go to the hospital by ambulance and that’s where they discovered she had a brain injury.”

Mallory didn’t wake up until months later from a coma.

Doctors found Mallory had an anoxic brain injury, meaning she wasn’t getting enough oxygen to the brain. This happened while she was getting her wisdom teeth removed and while she was under.

Today, Mallory is 23-years-old and learning basic life skills all over again, like walking and talking.

“I’m still working on it,” Mallory said.

Mallory was already engaged to Kyle prior to the accident, the man of her dreams that she met in high school. Kyle said they had to postpone their wedding twice while Mallory recovered at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in Omaha, Neb.

“You don’t expect something like that to happen to your significant other,” he said. “It was tough, but I knew in the back of my mind, the whole time, that she was going to pull through.”

Slowly but surely teaching Mallory skills many of us take for granted every day, like learning how to walk and talk.

“The first couple of weeks for therapy they just clapped their hands in her face and made loud noises to spark any sort of emotion or get anything out of her,” Kyle said. “That was therapy for a couple of weeks. We thought, ‘holy smokes this is going to be a long road.'”

Fast forward to October 2020. Mallory is able to stand on her own, speak full sentences and she’s now ready to get married.

“It was very rewarding to finally get to that moment and have that special day,” Kyle said.

“Very happy,” Mallory said. “I walked with my dad.”

Mallory pulled through, showing she was a fighter through all of it. With the help of her faith, family and therapist. Not even thinking for a second she would allow the brain injury to have the final say.

“Never,” Mallory said.

“There probably was a time where, you know, this is how it’s going to be,” Kyle said. “We were starting to get…You hate to do it but we were starting to plan out the future a little bit for her being in a much worse condition than she is now. But we did have that day where things turned around.”

Now she’s in out-patient therapy, living with her husband Kyle in the house they just bought together. Showing you can get through hell, if you just fight back.

“I think that her perseverance to get better is something that we can all learn from,” he said. “She was dealt the hardest hand that you could imagine and she’s fighting her way back. We’re all very proud of her efforts to get back.”

Mallory and her family said while she faced a tough battle they couldn’t have got through it without the help of the community. There were many fundraisers in her honor and people willing to help in any kind of way.

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