The wife of injured Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has spoken out about her hubby�s near death experience.
Mindy Hammond was riding a horse when she got that dreadful call telling her Richard has been injured and was on his way to the Leeds Infirmary.
After driving the four hour journey from Gloucester to Leeds she discovered her husband barely scathed and spent the next two weeks keeping a bedside vigil praying that her man would wake up.
Speaking to the Mirror she gave her account of the emotional rollercoaster her family went through in the wake of the accident.
�I knew the first 48 hours were critical for Richard but at 4am he started to deteriorate.
�The nurse was performing regular observation tests to gauge his reactions, trying to get him to open his eyes, squeeze her fingers, wiggle his toes and talk. But nothing was working on his left side which was a big concern.
�Because Richard didn�t respond the nurse had to cause him pain by jabbing a blunt instrument into a tender area at the top of the nose. It was horrific to watch and I begged her not to hurt him.
�I asked her: �Would it help if I shouted at him like I do when he�s drunk?� I was worried that I would disturb the other patients on the intensive care ward but she said: �Yeah, if you can get him to do something, shout.�
�I bellowed at him: �Richard, you bloody well squeeze her fingers because it�s bloody important!�
�There was a tiny squeeze and I thought: �Thank God.� After that he started to improve.�
Throughout his time in hospital Richard was visited by many of his friends and colleagues, including Top Gear co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
Mindy continued: �At one stage when I popped out of the room briefly, Jeremy ran out and grabbed me saying: �He�s said something.� When I went back in the ward he said �Hello baby� � but that completely exhausted him and he slipped back to sleep again.
�Whenever he asked me what happened, I told him he had been in an accident but he refused to believe it. He was in a state of confusion for a long time, so every day I looked into his eyes and said: �I�ll always tell you the truth.�
After three weeks in Leeds General Infirmary Richard was airlifted to a hospital I Bristol closer to his Gloucester home and two weeks ago doctors revealed that he was well enough to return home with his family.
Mindy was shocked by how quickly her remarkable husband recovered from his injuries.
She said: �It seems ludicrous how quickly Richard recovered. Two weeks ago, the doctors decided he was well enough to leave hospital. It is incredible that he is as far ahead as he is. He is very tough.
�This whole experience has been a long drawn out process and it is still going on. I know Richard wants to watch the film of the crash but I can�t really think about that yet.
�Some people will find it hard to believe, but I feel fine that Richard is going back to work on Top Gear. I wouldn�t stop him doing what he loves. Somehow I don�t think he�ll get in another jet car, so he ain�t never going that fast again. If he can survive something of that magnitude, he�ll be ok.�