In 2256, during the Federation-Klingon War, the Hiawatha was believed to have been destroyed by the Klingons. In fact, it had crashed on the surface of an interstellar asteroid as a result of encountering wildly fluctuating gravity waves. Most of the crew and patients were able to evacuate in escape pods, though a few were too injured to be moved. Engineer Jett Reno volunteered to stay behind to care for them.
Ten months and eleven days later, the wreckage of the ship was by accident located by the crew of the USS Discovery, under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, while investigating the origin of a mysterious red burst. A Discovery away team rescued Reno and her remaining patients before the asteroid and what was left of the Hiawatha collided with a pulsar. (DIS: "Brother")