Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell has revealed fellow AFL coach Adam Simpson stepped up to look after his kids after he suffered a health scare while on an off-season trip. Mitchell was hospitalised in New York over Christmas last year with pneumonia, spending seven days in hospital.
While the Hawks coach has now fully recovered and has returned to pre-season training at Hawthorn, he told the Herald Sun that he had to call on the West Coast Eagles coach's help. Simpson is a former mentor and good friend of Mitchell and happened to be in New York at the time. Upon hearing of the Hawks coach's condition, he made a quick dash to take his kids for the day as Mitchell coach sought treatment.
Now back in Australia, Mitchell thanked everybody who assisted him during the ordeal, including Simpson. "I just want to thank the people who helped,' Mitchell said.
"It (sounds) corny to say it (the football club) is a great place to work (with) great people ... until you need it. (It shows) how important the support of a good workplace is. I am 100 per cent fine now."
Mitchell said the health scare was so bad that he collapsed at the family's hotel diner with his eyes open for two minutes before his wife Lyndall insisted he needed to be taken to hospital. "I was no good," Mitchell said.
"I was sitting with Lyndall and the three kids (at breakfast) and I said to Lyndall ‘I am not going to make it today, I am going to go back up to the room’. She was like ‘What do you mean you are not coming with us today? In my head, I had been fighting it and fighting it. At that point, I got up as if I was going to go back to the room and I got three or four metres and I just woke up on the ground."
Mitchell spent Christmas in hospital and remained in the States until after the new year. The Hawks coach was eventually cleared to return home from New York with his family. He will make a 'transitioned' return to his role at Hawthorn after the health scare.
Sam Mitchell targeted by thieves returning from America
It was revealed that while returning home to Melbourne from New York last month Mitchell and his family were targeted by thieves. "Some electronic stuff was taken, but also Sam's passport was taken as well and maybe a couple of other passports in the family were taken as well," SEN reporter Sam Edmund revealed.
"This is on the day, I believe, they were due to fly back to Melbourne as well." Police managed to get Mitchell's passport and luggage back before their flight to Melbourne, which ended up being delayed.
"In the end, the delayed flight helped them because I’m told it was a pretty wild trip to the airport to make the flight by the time they got their passports and all their belongings back from the robbery, so understandably some very stressful moments," Edmund added.
The Hawks finished an underwhelming 2023 season in 16th place, recording just seven wins. Hawthorn starts their 2024 season with a round 1 blockbuster clash against Essendon at the MCG on March 16.
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