Warning: This story contains graphic content which may distress some readers.
Gold Logie winner Samuel Johnson has shared the terrifying details of a car crash that nearly killed him earlier this year.
The Project’s Peter Helliar sat down with Samuel for a candid chat, when he revealed he didn’t recall the moment he was accidentally struck bar a car on June 19th.
Samuel showed Peter the only photo he has of the accident, which shows him lying on the ground covered in blood being tended to by paramedics.
In reaction to the horrific image, Peter said, “I don’t even recognise you in that.”
Samuel had been celebrating at a cancer research fundraiser just hours before the accident.
“I pulled into a slip road, and went and had a wee, and woke up a couple of weeks later. I wasn’t expected to survive. I nearly died,” Johnson said.
“My face was really a mess, basically my whole right side was cactus. I inhaled glass.
“I got hit between 40 and 50 km/h by a small white vehicle. I broke my skull, I fractured my upper neck, and luckily my face bore the brunt of the impact, so my face saved my brain from a lot of damage.”
“Basically I got hit fairly badly and by the time they got me to hospital, they rushed me into ICU, I tanked, and I had two loved ones with me, I was told later, that were put into the death room – the one with the fridge and the couch where you are private and you are able to be told the bad news.”
Samuel credits his girlfriend Emma Rooke for saving his life, by ensuring that help reached him as soon as possible.
“She kept me alive. She understood the importance of the golden hour – the hour from when you have an accident to receiving treatment is the most important hour.”
Samuel told Peter Helliar that the accident had caused traumatic amnesia, meaning he had no recollection of what happened when he woke up.
“I woke up and I was really way more famous than I ever remembered being. Photographers were trying to get at me while I was inside and I wasn’t in a hospital – I as either in a mental home or my drink had been spiked,” he said.
“Maybe I was kidnapped, maybe I was clinically insane. So, I thought all kinds of things. I was Russian for a while, I spoke with a heavy Russian accent in three-word sentences for a couple of days, and then I was a Japanese 11-year-old girl, and basically – basically what happens when your brain gets wobbled is you go loopy.”
While Samuel appears to be on the mend, he said, “a lot of the symptoms are now invisible and I’m still recovering”.
As his recovery continues, Samuel said he has a whole new appreciation of the medical staff who helped him.
“They are the people that put people like me who have a bad accident back together again. Pretty much from the moment I knew what was going on through to now, I’ve got a great respect for the wizards that worked not just on putting me back together, but on putting anyone back together, where it is Covid, a brain injury or cancer.
“These are the genuine heroes of our world.”
Image credits: Channel Ten – The Project
This article first appeared on Over60.