Tracy Morgan Accident: Comedian Performs For Medical Staff Who Saved His Life

Tracy Morgan, a stand-up comedian and comic actor formerly of Saturday Night Live and NBC’s 30 Rock, suffered a debilitating car accident in June 2014 that resulted in the death of his friend, mentor, and colleague, comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, 62. On Saturday night, April 16, People reports that Tracy Morgan performed a special show for the medical staff who cared for him and saved his life following the accident, at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey — just two miles away from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where his care took place.

Tracy Morgan, 47, performed the show for doctors, first responders, and nurses. The show was sold out, and Morgan specifically requested that the house lights be turned on at the end of the show so that his beloved medical staff could share in his standing ovation. He then invited them all backstage for hugs, autographs, and photos. Tracy Morgan gave an exclusive statement to People regarding his love and gratitude for his guests.

“Last night was one of the most special nights of my life. To be standing on stage with the people that saved my life in the audience was an overwhelming experience. I will never fully be able to thank the doctors, nurses, first responders and everyone else that got me back on that stage enough. These people are heroes and I love them all from the bottom of my heart. The only good thing that happened on that horrible night was that I was close to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital when the accident happened. God bless them all.”

Tracy Morgan was in a coma for two weeks following the accident and sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI). He spoke to Rolling Stone last month for the March issue about how he was “in a dark place” during his recovery from the accident and considered suicide. The crash involved six vehicles.

Tracy Morgan, who was on a comedy tour at the time, was a passenger in a minibus that was traveling northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike when it was struck from behind by an 18-wheel tractor-trailer that was on the road for WalMart, causing a chain-reaction accident. The driver hadn’t slept in 28 hours. Tracy Morgan sued WalMart for negligence in July 2014 due to the fact that the driver’s lack of sleep violated federal statutes designed to prevent such accidents.

Tracy Morgan was returning from a stand-up performance at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware, when the accident occurred. Jimmy Mack McNair was the only fatality in the crash, but three other passengers were injured. In addition to traumatic brain injury, Tracy Morgan suffered a broken femur, a broken nose, and several broken ribs.

The Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital medical staff performed surgery on Tracy Morgan’s leg and nursed him through his coma. On June 20, 2014, Morgan was released from the hospital and was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility to continue the work necessary to recover cognitive and motor skills following such extensive injuries. Morgan was released from rehab on July 12, 2014.

Tracy Morgan credits his wife, Megan Wollover, 29, and their 2-year-old daughter Maven Morgan for giving him the motivation to pull himself out of suicidal ideation and to work harder toward his recovery. He told Oprah Winfrey on OWN’s SuperSoul Sunday, “I don’t know if I would want to live [without comedy],” expounding on his belief that his humor is a gift from God and that in addition to his family, his ability to make people laugh and the joy he gets from his successful career also served as motivation to work on his recovery and to bounce back from the accident.

Tracy Morgan donated all of the proceeds from his New Brunswick show to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

[Image courtesy of John Lamparski/Getty Images]

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