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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 20:31 GMT 21:31 UK
Hammond's recovery 'remarkable'
Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond is making good progress in his recovery

The recovery of Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has been "absolutely remarkable", says the ambulance team which moved him to a Bristol hospital.

Mike Lindley of Yorkshire Air Ambulance estimated Mr Hammond could be nearly back to normal in two or three weeks.

His team had taken the presenter to hospital in Leeds after he crashed his jet-powered car on an airfield.

And he appeared to be in good spirits, smiling and laughing, as the same air ambulance transferred him on Thursday.

The TV star was later seen walking into an ambulance on arrival in Bristol, which is near his home.

'Normal self'

Mr Lindley told the BBC: "His recovery is absolutely remarkable.

"He was sort of talking to the crew, sort of laughing and joking, although he was a bit unstable on his feet."

He added: "Given his sort of progress so far then I would suspect in two or three weeks he'll certainly be, if not all the way back to his normal self then certainly well on his way."

Mr Hammond had been receiving treatment for a brain injury at Leeds General Infirmary but will continue his recovery at the Bupa hospital in Clifton, Bristol.

Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond has moved nearer his home

Neurosurgeon Stuart Ross said rest could help Mr Hammond recover from his "brain injury" within months.

"There comes a period now which is unfortunately slow and is difficult to get through. But there comes a period when he has to get over the injury.

"He has to rest and allow his brain to recover and that takes time. I'm sure that once that period is over he will be back to his old self."

The accident happened while he was filming the BBC show last Wednesday.

Mr Hammond had been driving a jet-powered dragster similar to the Vampire used by Colin Fallows to set the British land speed record of 300.3 mph.


The 36-year-old has since received hundreds of cards and flowers from well-wishers.

Mr Hammond said he was so overwhelmed with flowers he was worried he could be "in for some ribbing from fellow Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May".

Donations to the air ambulance which flew him to hospital stand at 148,000.

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed that the final part of the Best Of Top Gear, which was due to be screened on 1 October, had been postponed indefinitely.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive are continuing to investigate the crash.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance head reacts to the donations



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