Tracy Morgan's Doctor Calls Comedian Hosting 'SNL' a 'Miracle'
By Antoinette Bueno
Tracy Morgan has beat the odds.
The 46-year-old comedian is set to host Saturday Night Live on Oct. 17 -- the show that made him a star -- which is remarkable given the June 2014 fatal car accident that left him in a coma. Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury as part of his injuries, which his lawyer has previously said he didn't know if Morgan could ever fully recover from.
Now, Morgan's brain doctor -- who's been seeing him once a month for the past year -- is calling his incredible progress nothing short of a miracle.
"When I started treating Tracy in June 2014, if someone had told me that he'd be on SNL in October of 2015 I would've had to look at that with great doubt," Dr. Brian Greenwald tells the Daily Beast. "Unfortunately, so many people don't recover as well as he does."
"He's really nothing short of a miracle in general," he added.
However, he remains cautious.
"To say whether or not he is ready for it [hosting SNL] is a challenge to figure out, but it's incredible to see that he's gotten so far already and that he's even thinking of doing it so quickly," Greenwald says. "There's obviously some risk when you're taking on something so intense like this. I think based on where he is in his recovery, though, it's certainly not unreasonable to try."
Morgan has obviously come a long way in just a year.
"He had memory issues. He was agitated at times. He couldn't do anything," his doctor recalls. "He couldn't stand by himself. He couldn’t do all the basic tasks by himself. Now Tracy is driving. Tracy is living with his family and doing things on his own."
Last month, Morgan was spotted behind the wheel again, driving a Lamborghini and throwing up a peace sign.
In June, ET caught up with Jackie Chirichella, a nurse at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, whom Morgan personally thanked profusely on Today, his first interview since the crash. "When I first came out of the coma I was a mess," Morgan told Matt Lauer. "I would curse her out every day. I would throw things at her, and the only thing she would say is, 'Everything is going to be alright.'"
"I never took it personally," Chirichella told ET. "We never take anything our patients say or do personally, because as they're emerging from their injury sometimes that happens. We stay calm. We stay focused. It's not unusual."
Aside from his brain injury, Morgan also suffered a broken leg, nose and ribs in the accident, in which a Wal-Mart truck collided with his tour bus on the New Jersey Turnpike. In May, Walmart settled a lawsuit filed by the comedian. The amount of the settlement is undisclosed.