The Plus Side of the Hamster Crash
On Wednesday, Top Gear presenter Richard ‘Hamster’ Hammond had an accident driving a jet-powered dragster, and suffered severe brain injuries. Thankfully, he is making good progress, and has every chance of making a full recovery.
It was uncertain for a while as to the full extent to his injuries, but he appears not to have suffered any permanent damage. He is lucky to be alive, and owes a great deal to the dedication and professionalism of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service and Leeds General Infirmary’s neurological unit.
The level of support Richard and his family have received has been generous in the extreme, with thousands of flowers, cards and letters being sent from members of the public from around the globe.
Donations in excess of £150,000 have also been made to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance charity which airlifted him to the hospital, and has enabled the charity to ‘bring forward’ plans to buy a second helicopter in the near future.
After a near tragedy such as this, it restores your faith in human nature to see the kindness and generosity, and I’m sure it is a great comfort to Richard.
Fellow Top Gear co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson wrote in Saturday’s The Sun:
“All we ever hear about the NHS is that it’s rubbish. But anyone who ever experiences the emergency care it provides always notices just how un-rubbish it is in reality.
Leeds General Infirmary is a no star hospital. According to the bureaucrats it’s terrible. But trust me on this. From where Richard Hammond is lying, it was about as terrible as Angelina Jolie’s left breast.”
I’m not entirely sure how Richard could see Angelina Jolie’s breasts from his hospital bed (probably best not to ask) but I agree the NHS is nowhere near as bad as everyone complains it is. Within minutes of the accident, he was in mid air en-route to hospital, which is as good as anyone could hope for and better than most parts of the world.
Having said that, the transport was provided by a completely donation based charity rather than a government funded health service which is outrageous but unsurprising. The funding of these very necessary charities is permanently contentious issue, but hopefully as a result of the Hamster crash, at least one will get a much needed boost.
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