Richard Hammond on ‘last thoughts’ before wife woke him from coma

Richard Hammond on ‘last thoughts’ before wife woke him from coma

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Richard Hammond, 52, spent two weeks in a coma in 2006 with doctors at one point calling his wife, Mindy Hammond, to say her goodbyes. Mindy began screaming, swearing and shouting at Richard, saying he was not allowed to go, and he didn’t. 

The Grand Tour presenter was driving a jet-powered car at the former RAF Elvington airfield near York when he lost control of the £2million vehicle at more than 310 miles per hour. 

Richard ended up in a coma with a frontal lobe brain injury, remaining in the coma for two weeks while doctors, and his family, feared for the worst.

On the Drive Tribe TikTok channel, Richard shared a heartfelt and insightful look into his time on the brink of death while climbing a mountain in the Peak District. 

The presenter shared: “A long time ago I was in a coma with a brain injury as a result of a particularly flamboyant crash involving a certain jet-powered dragster.”

Sitting by the base of a tree, he continued: “In hospital, intensive care, things apparently not looking very good but I didn’t know. There was a lot of morphine flowing around in my system.”

When he woke, Richard told Mindy about the “really really vivid” dream he’d had during his coma. 

The journalist had dreamt he was walking the very same hills he now stood on in the lake district, having “a lovely time”. 

However, the more he walked the more he felt a sense of impending doom, likening it to “when you’re a teenager staying out a bit too late”. 

He walked towards the very same tree he sat by in the TikTok, but instead of continuing past the tree, he decided to turn around and walk back the way he came. 

That was the point Richard awoke from the coma. 

Mindy shared with him what was happening in the hospital room where his injured body lay while his mind wandered the hills of the Lake District. 

He continued: “At the same time I was having that dream, she’d been called into intensive care and told: ‘Mrs Hammond, I’m really sorry but things aren’t looking good. We think we’re going to lose him.’

“She said: ‘Is there anything I can do?’ and they said: ‘No, not really’, and she asked: ‘Can I shout at him? I mean really, really shout at him.’

“She did. Apparently, she roared and screamed and swore at me: ‘Don’t you dare die!’ 

“And that’s when I turned back from this tree in my dream and that’s when I woke.”

Richard spent over a month in the hospital and after waking from the near-fatal coma found he was suffering from post-traumatic amnesia and had a five-second memory. 

The star spent months in recovery, but is grateful for his miraculous survival in whatever form it may take. 

Now, five years later and sitting at the base of the tree that symbolised his “last thought”, Richard revealed the “immense comfort” he’s received from it since his accident. 

He said: “My last thought took me somewhere I love, somewhere I’m happy. That last thought, if I had shut down, would have echoed for all of eternity and I’ve found immense comfort from it ever since. 

“I’m not scared of this old tree. I know it’s where I’ll go. It’s still here and I’m still here.”

Getting a tad emotional, or perhaps just the wind on the mountainside making his eyes water, Richard concluded: “One day I will walk around this tree. Nice to know where it is.”

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