Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall shared his first update on Thursday since being injured in a blast outside Kyiv while reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying despite the fact that he’s lost both feet, a leg, an eye and most of his hearing, he feels ‘pretty damn lucky to be here.’
The British journalist was reporting outside of Kyiv when the vehicle he was traveling in was hit by a bomb blast, killing his 55-year-old veteran cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and their producer Oleksandra ‘Sasha’ Kurshynova, 24.
Hall tweeted a photo of himself sitting as he recovers in a hospital bed, along with a post explaining the nature of his wounds.
‘To sum it up, I’ve lost half a leg on one side and a foot on the other,’ Hall began.
‘One hand is being put together, one eye is no longer working, and my hearing is pretty blown… but all in all I feel pretty damn lucky to be here – and it is the people who got me here who are amazing!’ Hall wrote.
Benjamin Hall was badly injured revealing on Twitter that he ‘lost sight in one eye, half a leg on one side and a foot on the other’
Mr Hall has three daughters with his wife Alicia Meller, an Australian fashion businesswoman
Hall is pictured on his wedding day in 2015 alongside wife Alicia Meller
Hall together with his wife and three daughters are pictured on a family vacation
Hall is pictured at home with one of his young daughters as she sketched her father last April
Pierre Zakrzewski (right) and Oleksandra Kuvshynova (centre) were killed in Ukraine while they were traveling in a vehicle involved in the same attack which left a British journalist injured
Hall, 39, was rushed to a hospital in Ukraine with serious injuries following the attack by Russian forces but evacuated from the country days after being involved in the attack and taken to a hospital in Texas where he underwent several surgeries on his injuries.
Hall had been with Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova as they covered the Russian invasion and were on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital in Horenka.
The trio were all traveling in the same vehicle when the attack occurred and their vehicle was struck by incoming fire.
Hall has been married to his wife, Alicia Meller, an Australian fashion businesswoman, for almost seven years and share three young daughters who regularly appear on their father’s Instagram. The family live in Washington DC
Meller works for an Australian fashion and shoe brand, Senso, which her parents founded in 1979.
She joined the company in 2010 along with her two sisters, Imogen and Skye, and is in charge of international development.
Hall, meanwhile, has worked for the New York-based network since 2015. Hall, a dual citizen of Britain and the US, often covers the US State Department for the network.
The journalist has also worked for the BBC, ITN and Channel 4 and written for The Times, The Sunday Times, The New York Times and Agence France Presse.
Hall attended Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire before studying at Duke University in North Carolina, Richmond University in London and University of the Arts London.
A dual citizen of both Britain and the US, he wrote a book in 2015 about the history of Islamic State called ‘Inside ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army’.
Benjamin Hall is a married father-of-three from London who has worked for Fox since 2015
Bronze Star recipient Dr. Richard Jadick, 56, the most decorated combat doctor from the war in Iraq described rescuing Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall, who was wounded by Russian forces in the fighting outside Kyiv and trapped in the combat zone
Last month, a decorated Naval doctor described how he rescued Hall, who was trapped in the combat zone in need of urgent medical care.
Bronze Star recipient Dr. Richard Jadick, 56, the most decorated combat doctor from the war in Iraq, told Fox News that he was teaching a course in Tennessee when he was called by combat rescue organization Save Our Allies that they needed his help evacuating Americans.
dr Richard Jadick received the Bronze Star for his heroism after treating 30 Marines in the Second Battle of Fallujah and treated Hall in Ukraine before his evacuation to the US
‘I got the call, headed home. Got packed myself, got on an airplane and let my family know where I was going,’ Jadick said. ‘It was later on in the week that we got the call to move to Kyiv, that we had to evacuate a critically wounded patient.’
That patient turned out to be Hall.
‘I was there at the right place and at the right time,’ said Jadick, humbly.
Jadick first flew into Poland, but when he heard that the reporter needed his help, he didn’t hesitate to parachute into the combat zone.
He arrived at the hospital where Hall was being treated and introduced himself.
‘I saw Ben and I looked at him I said “Ben, you don’t know me, my name is Rich Jadick, I’m a surgeon, I’m here to get you out of here.”
Hall was eager to cooperate.
‘When do you want to go?’ Jadick said the newsman replied.
‘I said we’re going to go in about 20 minutes, we’re going to get you packaged up and we’re going to find a way to get you out of here,’ he said.
Jadick said he was struck by the resolve of the Ukrainian people, especially an orthopedic surgeon who guarded the hospital with an AK-47 at night and operated on the wounded during the day.
‘I really can’t say enough about this orthopedic surgeon,’ he said.
‘We were going to do some cases the next day,’ Jadick said, but things got hot and they had to evacuate immediately. ‘We got the word that we had to get out that night, so I said “Ben, we’re moving.”‘
‘Ben had some critical injuries that required a lot of attention,’ Jadick explained.
‘One of the hallmarks of evacuating a patient is patients get worse under rough conditions getting out of a bad situation. And the bad situation could have been made worse just by getting in the wrong kind of evacuation situation, so we worked hard at putting together the right scenario to get him out safely,’ he recalled.
Alongside news of his recovery, Hall also shared information about his colleagues who lost their lives during the attack in Horenka, Irish cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, 55, pictured
Benjamin Hall, 39, had been reporting for Fox News from Ukraine on the Russian invasion
Irish cameraman Pierre Zakrewski died along with producer Oleksandra Kurshynova in the attack. They were both working with Hall
Alongside news of his recovery, Hall also shared information about his colleagues who lost their lives during the attack in Horenka.
‘Its been over three weeks since the attack in Ukraine and I wanted to start sharing it all. But first I need to pay tribute to my colleagues Pierre and Sasha who didn’t make it that day. Pierre and I traveled the world together, working was his joy and his joy was infectious. RIP,’ Hall tweeted together with a photograph of Zakrzewski.
Zakrzewski, who was based in London, had dual French and Irish citizenship and been working in Ukraine since February.
‘He was a warm-hearted traveler who provoked beautiful encounters, he was very humble and human and had not lost any of his sensitivity over the years,’ a member of his family said.
Zakrzewski also had a long relationship with Afghanistan, where he had covered decades of conflict, from the war against the Soviets to the return of the Taliban.
Fox News said Zakrzewski had played a ‘key role’ in getting the network’s Afghan freelance associates and their families out of the country after the US withdrawal.
Fox cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski (left) was killed and reporter Benjamin Hall (right) seriously injured when the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by incoming fire
It also said he was given an ‘Unsung Hero’ award at the company’s annual employee Spotlight Awards in December.
‘Pierre was a war zone photographer who covered nearly every international story for Fox News from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria during his long tenure with us,’ Fox’ Suzanne Scott said in a statement.
‘His passion and talent as a journalist were unmatched.’
He is survived by his wife Michelle, a documentary filmmaker and producer, his family member said.
Kuvshynova, 24, had earned a reputation for being ‘hard-working, funny, kind and brave’ while working with the Fox crew to cover the conflict.
‘Her dream was to connect people around the world and tell their stories and she fulfilled that through her journalism,’ Scott said.
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he was ‘deeply disturbed and saddened’ by the deaths of Zakrzewski and his colleague.
‘My thoughts are with their families, friends and fellow journalists,’ Martin said on Twitter at the time. ‘We condemn this indiscriminate and immoral war by Russia on Ukraine.’
Hall is pictured in his previous role as foreign affairs correspondent for Fox News Channel based in London. Here is pictured here during an assignment in the Middle East
Pierre Zakrzewski (left) and Benjamin Hall (right) worked together in Kabul for Fox last year
Zakrzewski was a war zone photographer who covered nearly every international story for Fox News from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria
At the time of the incident last month, Fox News Media chief executive Suzanne Scott told Fox News staff in an email: ‘Our correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured while newsgathering outside of Kyiv in Ukraine.
‘We have a minimal level of details right now, but Ben is hospitalized and our teams on the ground are working to gather additional information as the situation quickly unfolds.
‘The safety of our entire team of journalists in Ukraine and the surrounding regions is our top priority and of the utmost importance.
‘This is a strong reminder for all journalists who are putting their lives on the line every day to deliver the news from a war zone. We will update everyone as we know more. Please keep Ben and his family in your prayers.’
The State Department Correspondents’ Association said in a statement that it was ‘horrified to learn that our fellow correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured as he covered the Ukraine.’
‘We know Ben for his warmth, good humor and utmost professionalism,’ it said. ‘We wish Ben a quick recovery and call for utmost efforts to protect journalists who are providing an invaluable service through their coverage in Ukraine.’