UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes returned to St. John’s Hospital in Illinois earlier this week to thank the staff for their service. Just four months ago they treated him in the immediate aftermath of a terrible accident where his car was hit by a train. At the time it wasn’t clear whether Matt would emerge from a coma and what condition he’d be in if he did, but since then he’s made miraculous progress in his recovery.
He’s still got a ways to go, but the former welterweight champ took the time to thank the nurses and doctors at St. John’s for going above and beyond to help him and his family through the trying ordeal. Nurses Ashley Hull and Megan Simpson were singled out specifically for being there through everything. MMA Fighting was on hand for the occasion.
“My family and friends have told me that the entire team at St. John’s was really good to me and all of them,” an emotional Hughes said. “It means the world to me. Thank you all so very much.”
“I’m so proud of Matt and his hard work and thankful I was able to meet the great people he calls friends and family,” Ashley Hull said while receiving a DAISY nursing award from the hospital. “And I was honored that they trusted me to care for their loved one. I can remember telling Audra, as did Megan, that we believed wholeheartedly that Matt would wake up, that he just needed time. Matt’s story is the epitome of why I became a nurse. I just want him to know how incredibly proud I am of him.”
“He beat the odds and won the biggest fight of his life. He will forever be an inspiration to the care I provide my patients.”
Matt’s close friend Tony Zucca spoke at the ceremony as well.