UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes admitted in a social media post on Tuesday that the injuries the 46-year-old suffered three years ago in a horrific train accident caused the former champion to wonder why he was still alive.
“About a year after my accident, I got complacent,” Hughes said. “I wasn’t noticing any big improvements. I was depressed, I felt like a burden, I felt worthless, and I would pray for God to take me.”
Hughes shared his heartbreaking admission as part of a longer post about the fighter’s three-year recovery journey.
Hughes: ‘My Old Life Feels Like a Lifetime Ago’
It’s been a long road for Hughes.
In the aftermath of the accident, the UFC champ was airlifted to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma.
Hughes came out of that coma the next month, but things only got harder from there. The fighter has continued to battle over the past three years in learning how to walk again and do other things most people probably take for granted.
On the anniversary of the accident, Hughes decided to vulnerably share a mixture of his thoughts and feelings about that long journey.
“My accident was 3 years ago today,” Hughes said. “In some ways, it doesn’t feel like that long ago, but in other ways, my old life feels like a lifetime ago.”
Hughes Grateful for Life: ‘I Should Be Dead’
Hughes said his life has changed dramatically over the past three years.
“My life has changed so much in these past 3 years,” Hughes said. “Some for the better, some for the worse. According to my MRI, I should have never woke up from my coma. I should be dead or have what is referred to as locked-in syndrome.”
Hughes shared he’s developed a more positive headspace over the last year or so.
“This past year has been an awakening for me,” Hughes said. “I have a new mindset and goals.”
Hughes expressed sincere gratitude over the many people who had helped him during this tough time in his life.
“I am beyond grateful for every physician, doctor, nurse, therapist, coach, first responder, family member, friend, etc. who worked with me over the past 3 years,” Hughes said. “I thank God for guiding their hands and their decisions. I am extremely thankful for all the many prayers from each and every one of you. To my friends and family who stuck it out with me during all the ups and downs, I wouldn’t be here if not for you.”
Hughes Offered Encouragement For Others With Brain Issues
The fighter offered hope and encouragement for others in the world who had experienced traumatic injuries to their brains, and he also offered some advice for those people and their loved ones.
“If you are caring for someone with a brain injury, please be patient with them,” Hughes said. “Please don’t pick arguments or be overly critical. Educate yourself about the injury before you assume we are just being difficult for no reason.”
Hughes said the long road to recovery is difficult, but implied that the benefits to sticking with a recovery plan outweigh the hardships one must endure.
If you have a brain injury, get help immediately,” Hughes said. “Stick to your therapy. Try and surround yourself with supportive people. See a counselor to help you through the tough times. Remove negative people and as much stress as possible from your life. This injury will not fix itself over time. You have to challenge yourself daily. Push your body further than what you think is possible.”
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