Hammond was filming for Top Gear back in 2006 when he crashed a jet-powered car which left him in a coma with a frontal lobe brain injury. Hammond spoke about the ordeal and what helped him mentally to regain consciousness on a YouTube video for the What Next channel.
“A long time ago, I was in a coma with a brain injury as a result of a particularity flamboyant crash. In hospital, intensive care, things apparently not looking very good but I didn’t know, there was a lot of morphine flowing around my system.
“I finally woke and I shared with my wife Mindy a dream I’d been having, a really, really vivid one. Probably partly on account of the morphine.”Hammond talked about how he told his wife about the dream he was having before he regained consciousness. He dreamt that they he was in the Lake District, which is where he filmed the video from. He explained that he was starting to feel like he was in trouble, and he found himself walking up a hill towards a tree and as he got closer to the tree, the feeling of being in trouble got worse. The former Top Gear host continued with the video from the exact tree that he had dreamt about. He continued describing the moment:“And that feeling grew and grew and I walked up this slope where I am now towards this tree, this exact tree, and as I got closer and closer to the tree, that sense of ‘ooh I really am in trouble’ grew and grew.”Until eventually in my dream I turned back and didn’t walk around this tree and carry on and I woke, and that’s the dream I told Mindy about.”
Hammond went on to explain what had been happening for his wife, Mindy:
“At the same time I was having that dream, she’d been called into intensive care and told: ‘Mrs Hammond, I’m really sorry, things aren’t looking good’.”
As this was happening, the doctors had just told Mindy that there was nothing else they could do as he was on full life support and breathing apparatus. Mindy asked if she could yell at Hammond, which she did. Hammond continued explaining:
“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.””It’s true. I didn’t really come up this hill and walk round this tree, I was in a coma in Leeds. But my mind did, and my mind is who I am – I know that very well having damaged it with a frontal lobe brain injury and spent a long time recovering.
“And I’ve taken huge solace from that ever since, because that was my last thought – certainly at the time. And my last thought took me somewhere I love and somewhere I’m happy.”
The emotional video ended with Hammond explaining that he believes his mind will return to the same place when his time comes, and he finds peace in that.