While thousands of cheerleaders will be making their way to Dallas this weekend to compete at NCA Nationals, not everyone will get to have their family by their side.
Bailey’s mother, Tina, was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm this past Sunday after driving herself to the emergency room, for what she first thought was just a very strong headache.
After spending over five hours in the emergency room while the doctors ran test, they sent Tina to another hospital where they could get a closer look at what was going on.
That was when Richard Carroll heard the news; there was, in fact, an aneurysm and Tina was to have immediate brain surgery the following day, late Monday.
As soon as Tina found out she had to have surgery, Richard told me her first question for the doctor was, “Will I be able to fly on Friday?”
Richard said Tina was definitely upset that she would have to miss NCA.
“This is not just a hobby for us – it’s a lifestyle,” Richard said.
“Cheerleading is always a priority that we work our life around.”
After much anticipation, I finally got the news from Richard on Tina’s surgery.
“The surgery was a success there’s an incredibly high probability of a full recovery,” Richard said.
This left Richard at home to take care of his son, three dogs, two turtles, and one frog to be exact, while Tina got her rest and Bailey heads to Dallas.
The next order of business was finding out how to get Bailey to NCA safely.
Cheer Tyme coach Lark Wood suggested calling their airline (United Airlines) and asking could they change the ticket name from Tina’s to Wood, so Bailey could fly with someone she was comfortable with.
After receiving a “no” within the first phone call, that’s when Wood and Richard took to Twitter to try and get some answers. They began using the hashtag #GetBailsToDallas, and it wasn’t long before the Cheer World came together to try and get the word out.
“It was incredible to see the support from a family of athletes to try and help United Airlines do the right thing.”
“I asked her, ‘What do I need to pay?’” Richard said, and the team mom responded: “Don’t worry about it – teams are a family, and family takes care of each other.
Richard said he had never even met the other team mom before, but that they “talked like they were friends” and that it was just amazing how their gym came together for them in their time of need.
“There has just been so many well wishes and good vibes from everyone,” Richard said.
Bailey’s father also said if you happen to see her at NCA, run up and give her a hug.
We both agreed at how amazing the cheerleading community really is, and how supportive everyone is of each other.
“I love this gym. I love this team. Hopefully they’ll come home with a jacket,” Richard said.
You can continue to tweet prayers and good wishes to Bailey by using the hashtag #GetBailsToDallas or by following her Twitter account @CheerTymeBails.
Let’s keep the good energy and positive thoughts coming to Bailey’s mother, Tina, as she recovers and to Bailey as she competes at NCA!
Photo credit: Richard Carroll (@CheerTymeDad)