Fox's Hall talks survival after nearly dying in Ukraine

Streaming HUBMarch 15, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) – A year after he was nearly killed by Russian bombs while covering the war in Ukraine, Fox News’ Benjamin Hall credits a relentless optimism – and what he describes as an unexplained miracle – to get through it.

The truth is that it was only quite recently that several miracles enabled Hall to sit in a cafe at Fox’s New York headquarters to discuss the book he had written about his ordeal.

After the bombing Ukrainian special forces officer was driving who saw Hall wave and put him in a car Lucky train ride from Kiev to Poland 30 – and counting – surgeries He recovers from March 14, 2022 Yes, event.

No story can compare to the sound he heard when the second of the three bombs went off and he blacked out. He swears it was his daughter, Honor, then at home in London with her mother and sisters Iris and Hero.

The voice was insisting: “Daddy, you have to get out of the car.” Hall obeyed, setting it on fire just before the third bomb went off.

“I’ve talked to some people who have had near-death experiences and they often see their families,” Hall told The Associated Press. “I think when you take everything else out, what’s the main thing that matters most to us, the place we want to be? It’s being back home with your family.

“Was it a miracle?” He asked. “I believe so. I survived that day. That’s the title of my book. I was in the middle seat of a small car—it’s the death seat—somehow I came out of it, and I’m still alive. Whether it is my daughter or an angel, I have no answer.

Two of Hall’s colleagues on the reporting trip, photographer Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian “fixer” Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshinova, were both killed.

Even after escaping and being taken to a hospital in Kiev, there was no guarantee that Hall would survive. He was seriously injured. He lost his right leg below the knee, most of his left leg, the sight in his left eye, his left thumb was blown off, his skull was dislocated and most of his body was burned.

He was lucky enough to ride on a train of diplomats from Kiev to Poland, where he was evacuated to a US military treatment facility in Landstuhl, Germany.

Hall’s book captures this great escape, much of it reconstructed through his later reporting. He mentioned how his father, who was rescued in war-torn Manila in 1945, and who died at age 89 less than a month before Ben’s deployment to Ukraine, both had their lives saved by the US military. .

He doesn’t fall short of words about what he went through – his screams heard far down the corridors in a hospital as the dressings from his burns are removed, and the terrifying dreams that lead him to overdose on pain medication. We do.

Yet he added that he is blessed to have an optimistic nature and determination.

“I love that positivity and optimism, which is great,” said ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2006 when a bomb detonated near where he was reporting in Iraq.

Woodruff said that after a period of feeling lucky to be alive, many people who suffer such injuries sink into a dangerous period of hopelessness and depression. If Hall has gone through it, it looks like he’s passed it, he said.

“It takes a long time to adjust to some of the things you’ve done and to say goodbye and hello to new people,” Woodruff said.

He also says that the role of an injured person’s loved ones deserves more credit; His wife, Lee, has spoken to Hall’s wife, Alicia.

Detailing some of his wartime reporting experiences in Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria, before joining Fox News in 2015, Hall was fortunate enough to be physically protected in front of Ukraine. With his family in mind, he had settled into a secure job covering the State Department before volunteering for duty in Ukraine.

Impossible to resist an “I told you so” or two, Hall’s wife knew how important the story was and how important it was to him to cover it, he said.

Has he second-guessed his decision to leave?

“Not once,” he said.

While it’s important to understand the danger, “once you’ve decided to go, you’re able, if you want to do the job well, to shut it down,” he said. “Because fear will stop you from doing that thing.

In his book, Hall recalls a conversation he had with a former soldier talking about the pain he faced every day.

Hall said in the interview, “I don’t like to tell people about the pain because I don’t want to bother anyone else.” “This is for me to deal with, not someone else to deal with. What are they supposed to do? Feel bad about me? Who does that help? Nobody. So I’ll deal with it myself.” .

Hall said she hopes her book can show others that she has reserves of strength to deal with adversity. His story will also be told in a two-hour documentary on Fox News Channel on Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Faced with his new reality, Hall must decide what happens next. For Bob and Lee Woodruff, it was starting a foundation that raised $125 million for wounded soldiers. Woodruff continues to report; He spoke in an interview this week from north of the Arctic Circle in Canada.

Hall said, “I’ve spent my entire career talking about war and horror and the depth of it.” “I think I would like to tell some more positive and optimistic stories now.”


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