Mum's joy as injured bike ace Jamie Hamilton returns home 10 weeks after TT crash
Injured motorcycle racer Jamie Hamilton returned home this week, 10 weeks after being seriously injured in a crash during the Senior TT on the Isle of Man.
Jamie's mum Helen was delighted to have her son back after sitting by his bedside for 12 hours every day since the smash which left the 24-year-old with a badly broken arm and leg as well as a serious head injury.
Sounding weak but in good spirits, Jamie spoke last night to the Belfast Telegraph.
"The best thing of all is to be back in my own bed," Jamie said.
The young rider has made a good recovery in the Royal Victoria Hospital - and although he needs further surgery, he looks forward to returning to racing when his injuries are healed.
"I'm not too bad, it's just weird being at home," he said.
"I can't really remember the last time I was here at home. It seems like a very long time ago."
After the fireball horror smash in June, Jamie lost all memory of his glittering motorcycle racing achievements - but now, he says, things are returning.
"Something comes back every day," he said. "It's not that I don't really remember anything at all, it's that my memory would be selective. But I remember a little more each day. In my eyes, that's a positive."
His mind is blank about the high-speed crash that nearly killed him.
"I don't remember anything about it - and I think that if there's anything I would like to forget, it would be that crash."
Jamie is eager to get back in the saddle - but only if he makes a full recovery.
"I would have to believe that I would be able to ride the motorbike in the way that I was able to before the crash - or I wouldn't be interested. If I didn't think I could ride as fast as before, then I wouldn't want to do it."
The Ballyclare rider paid tribute to mum Helen: "My mum stood by my side through all the weeks I was in hospital.
"She was there at 9am every morning and didn't leave until almost 10pm every night.
"It was lonesome for her, with a lot of driving up and down, back and forward and looking after me. It must have been very hard on her, too. I'm torturing her about the house now, rather than the hospital," he laughed.
The young rider faces gruelling treatment, with more operations and physiotherapy to address the serious injuries to his leg and arm.
"I've had about 40mm smashed out of my leg, and I'll be going back into hospital to get my leg broken, so that they can start extending it - trying to make it the same length as my other one."
"While I'm getting that done, I will be having a bone graft on my injured arm. I hope that will be the end of the operations."
Thankfully, he is not in great pain: "It's not that my leg and arm are sore - it's that I ache all over," he said.
A GoFundMe campaign to help Jamie with the costs of his recovery has raised more than £16,000 in the two months since his accident.