17:08 EST 31 December 2012
Popular ESPN anchor Hannah Storm will return to air tomorrow, exactly three weeks after she suffered second degree burns to her chest and hands and first degree burns to her face and neck.
She will host ABC’s 2013 Rose Parade, despite the loss of her eyebrows, eyelashes and roughly half her hair after she was exposed to flames during a propane gas grill accident at her home in Connecticut.
‘I’m a little nervous about things I used to take for granted,’ she said by phone this weekend from Pasadena, California. ‘Little things like putting on makeup and even turning pages on my script.’
The sportscaster was at home preparing to use her grill outside on December 11th when she noticed the flame had extinguished and she returned to re-ignite it.
‘There was an explosion and a wall of fire came at me,’ she said to The New York Post.
‘It was like you see in a movie, it happened in a split second. A neighbour said he thought a tree had fallen through the roof, it was that loud.
‘It blew the doors off the grill.’
The ESPN host told The New York Post how she ripped off her burning shirt with her left hand and tried to use another part of the shirt to extinguish the flames which had begun burning on her head and chest.
Her 15-year-old daughter, also called Hannah ran to phone 911 and a computer technician who was working in the house grabbed some ice as Storm tried to attend to her wounds.
After her husband, NBC host Dan Hicks returned home with the couple’s three other daughters, Hannah calmly said to her mother: ‘OK, Mommy, I’m going to do my homework now,’ provoking massive laughter.
Taken to the Trauma and Burn Center at Westchester Medical Center, Storm spent over a day being treated for her wounds.
‘I didn’t see my face until the next day and you wonder how it’s going to look,’ she said to the New York Post.
‘I was pretty shocked. But my overarching thought was I’ve covered events with military members who have been through a lot worse than me, and they’ve come through. I kept thinking, `I can do this. I’m fortunate.’
The ESPN host has hardly left her home since the accident and has told her fans to expect to see some slight facial changes on air tomorrow – including some obvious differences in her hair.
Storm is set to host her fifth Rose Parade, with some changes. She’s left-handed, and taking notes is almost impossible. Dressing and showering are challenges, too.
Storm said that long before her accident, she’d been inspired by Iraq War veteran, actor and “Dancing With the Stars” winner J.R. Martinez, the grand marshal at last year’s parade. He was severely burned in a land mine accident while serving overseas.
One attraction of this year’s parade that she was eager to see—the Nurses’ Float, and she hoped to use that moment on air to thank everyone who had taken care of her.
Storm wants to anchor “SportsCenter” in Bristol, Conn., next Sunday. After that, the Notre Dame alum is ready to go in person to watch the No. 1 Irish play Alabama in the national championship game at Miami. She said the school reached out after hearing about her injuries and had been very supportive.
“More than anything, I feel gratitude,” she said. “Something like this really makes you appreciate everything you have, even the chance to wake up on New Year’s Day and do your job.
Hannah Storm was born on June 13th, 1962 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Storm
June 13th, 1962
13 +1+9+6+2 = 31 = her “secret” number = Things got out of hand.
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