Natasha Richardson passed away after a freak skiing accident almost five-years ago, but for her husband, actor Liam Neeson, her death has never seemed real.
The Irish actor, who was married to Richardson for almost 15-years, will open up about his wife’s tragic death in March of 2009 during an interview with Anderson Cooper that will air this weekend on 60 Minutes.
For Liam Neeson, his wife’s death is something that is not easy to accept, even now:
“(Her death) was never real. It still kind of isn’t. There’s periods now in our New York residence when I hear the door opening, especially the first couple of years… anytime I hear that door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her.”
The 61-year-old actor has not spoken publicly about Natasha Richardson’s death and at the time asked for privacy for him and his children.
Natasha Richardson— who was 45-years-old at the time — was on vacation in Canada with one of her sons when she fell on a small slope popular with beginners during a private ski lesson and hit her head.
Even though the fall didn’t seem serious and the British actress refused medical care, the events that followed the incident suggest that maybe with proper medical care, she could have survived.
Natasha Richardson refused to be taken to the hospital at least twice, according to witnesses in a decision that proved to be fatal.
The New York City medical examiner’s office ruled March 19 that Richardson died from blunt trauma to the head, causing massive internal bleeding in the brain. The condition is known as epidural hematoma.
A representative of the Mont Tremblant Resort said that after the fall Natasha Richardson was “lucid, talking, even making jokes.”
Two ski patrol officers and her ski instructor took care of her at the scene where she initially declined to go to the hospital, but accompanied her back to her hotel room.
About an hour later, “she started to suffer headaches and the instructor said, ‘Okay, you better go to the hospital,’ and she agreed,” the rep said.
Liam Neeson remembers arriving at the Canadian hospital, where doctors told him Richardson was brain dead from swelling of the brain caused by her fall.
“She was on life support…I went in to her and I told her I loved her, said ‘Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this, you’ve banged your head’…she and I had made a pact, if any of us got into a vegetative state that we’d pull the plug…that was my immediate thought…’Okay, these tubes have to go. She’s gone.'”
Even though Neeson and Natasha Richardson had agreed not to let one another survive in a vegatative state, he decided to keep her alive so the rest of her family could say goodbye. Neeson donated her organs to save three other lives.