A plea from Benjamin Hall’s daughters — from thousands of miles away — saved his life.
The Fox News war correspondent was in Kyiv, Ukraine, in March, just weeks after Russia’s invasion of that country, when a bomb exploded next to the car in which he and other members of his news team were riding.
“Everything went dark,” Hall said in a “Fox & Friends” interview Thursday, reading an excerpt from his forthcoming memoir, “Saved.”
It was as if “every part of my body – bones, organs, sinew, my soul – had been knocked out of me,” Hall said. He had shrapnel in his eye and in his throat. He had lost his lower right leg and his left foot, among many other serious injuries.
“I was all but dead,” Hall said. “But then, improbably, out of this crippling nothingness, a figure came through, and I heard a familiar voice, as real as anything I’d ever known.”
He said he heard his three young daughters, somehow, inexplicably, calling to him across the miles from their home back in London: “Daddy, you’ve got to get out of the car.”
Hall responded to the plea and managed to crawl out of the vehicle.
Moments later, another bomb struck the vehicle in a direct hit.
If he hadn’t obeyed the prompting and gotten himself out of the car, he said, “there’s no way I would be here today.”
Cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova died in the blast.
It was just the start of a harrowing journey for Hall. “Stuck inside the warzone, it was feared Hall might not make it out alive,” his publisher, HarperCollins, wrote on a webpage featuring the new title.
In the coming days, Hall went on to be saved multiple times by other groups.
He was rescued by Save Our Allies, a nonprofit organization made up of former U.S. special forces operators, who risked their lives to come into the war zone and get him out “in a covert way.”
That team got him to Poland, from which he was then flown to U.S. military hospitals in Germany and the United States for surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
“They rebuilt me,” he said. “They rebuilt me physically and mentally — they gave me such strength.”
Hall gives credit to all of those who played a part in his survival and recovery. That is the reason for the title he chose for his forthcoming book.
“It’s about being saved by all these people,” he said.
“Saved: A War Reporter’s Mission To Make It Home” comes out March 14.
The appearance Thursday was Hall’s first time back on live TV since the event, and it was at times emotional, with him tearing up when talking about his fallen co-workers.
Hall’s colleagues on “Fox and Friends” marveled at his positive outlook.
“It’s been a life-changing event,” he said, according to Fox News.
“I think that you learn a lot going through things like this, and I was surrounded by so many wonderful people,” Hall told them. “That’s why I’m here today, and I look forward to everything that comes ahead.”
“I’ve got one leg, I’ve got no feet, I see through one eye, got one workable hand, I was burned all over — and I feel stronger, I feel more confident than I ever have.”
He said he hopes the story of his experience can be used to encourage others going through challenges.
“For anyone else who is going through really difficult things, keep going,” he said. “Never give up. It’s inside you, and it’s always good on the other side.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.