Richard Bacon: 'I nearly died. I thought this is it'

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by Simon Austin
Richard Bacon

Broadcaster Richard Bacon has tweeted for the first time after waking from a medically-induced coma, admitting that he nearly died.

The 41-year-old former BBC Radio 5 live presenter became ill on a flight back to the UK from America on July 5th. He was admitted to A&E at Lewisham in south east London and placed in a medically-induced coma, before eventually waking last Friday.

Doctors had initially diagnosed him with pneumonia, but Bacon revealed he had actually been suffering from “an as-yet unidentified double chest infection”.

This morning he tweeted: “So I did six days straight in a coma. Been here another four since. It’s an as yet unidentified double chest infection. I nearly died.

“At one point, as I was run down a hallway to ICU at midnight, with a massive needle jammed in my chest (bit like Pulp Fiction) I thought, ‘this is it’. ‘How’s is this going to affect my kids’ lives?’

“Who’s going to sit my poor dad down and say, ‘I’m sorry, we did everything we could’,? But then I didn’t die. And I didn’t die because I’m on the NHS. VivaTheNHS. See you for your 100th. By which time I probably will have pneumonia.”

Bacon also shared a quote from the late American TV personality Mister Rogers: “We need to help people to discover the true meaning of love. Love is generally confused with dependence. Those of us who have grown in true love know that we can love only in proportion to our capacity for independence.”

He followed up with a second Rogers' quote: "Deep within us - no matter who we are - there lives a feeling of wanting to be lovable, of wanting to be the kind of person that others like to be with. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving."

Bacon and his wife Rebecca moved to the US with their children Arthur, six, and Ivy, four, three years ago. His most recent role was hosting Fox talkshow ‘Top 30’ in Los Angeles.

On Friday, his mum Christine revealed that the broadcaster had woken from his coma.

"It was such a relief when he opened his eyes," she said. "Although he is not responding to us very well yet, we can see that he is getting better.

“He was having a lot of oxygen ventilation, a lot more than a normal person would need, through a pipe, as well as lot of anti-biotics. They kept him like that for a week and we hadn't left his side, at one point we really felt we might lose him.

"That went on until his temperature went down and then on Wednesday they did a tracheostomy to improve his breathing and bring him off sedation.

"The doctors have said that he is very distressed and confused after being in a coma for a week, which you can understand, and that we need to keep talking to him and reminding him of where he is.”