New details have come to light about how Sam Mitchell and his family had their passports and luggage stolen en route from New York to Melbourne after his bout of pneumonia. The Hawthorn Hawks coach spent Christmas in hospital after coming down with a serious case of the illness while on holidays in America with his wife and children.
The AFL champion has since returned home to Australia and will be back at the club on Monday. But SEN reporter Sam Edmund has revealed new details about how the Mitchell family were targeted by thieves during their journey home.
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Edmund reported on Monday morning that the family had luggage stolen while they were in Los Angeles preparing for their flight to Melbourne. “We can tell you that this trip got worse before he returned home to Melbourne as well,” Edmund said on SEN radio.
“Aside from spending seven nights either side of Christmas Day in hospital in New York with pneumonia, which was disastrous. But after leaving New York, the family were in Los Angeles and we can tell you that unbelievably, the Mitchell family had some luggage stolen - what police say might have been a suspected carefully planned robbery, almost a targeted burglary
“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. This is on the day, I believe, they were due to fly back to Melbourne as well."
Thankfully, police managed to get Mitchell's passport and the luggage back to the family 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.
Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell is finally home after a health scare that put him in a New York hospital for seven nights. In this exclusive interview, Mitchell tells 7NEWS he's still recovering after urgent care for pneumonia, and praises his wife and medical team for helping him… pic.twitter.com/VVnYKkvP1g
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) January 12, 2024
Sam Mitchell speaks out after return to Australia
Speaking to Channel 7 on his arrival in Melbourne, Mitchell said: “Feeling OK. Feeling better. It’s a long flight so you’re not getting me at my best, but I’m recovering, feeling better,
“The story will come out in due course, (I’m) probably not ready to quite talk about it yet but it was a few rough days. Spent a few days in hospital. My wife was juggling three kids in a hotel in a foreign city and me being in hospital. I think it was seven nights in the end.”
Mitchell wasn't in attendance when the Hawks returned to pre-season training last week, and the coach will make a 'transitioned' return to his role. Hawthorn's GM of Football Rob McCartney revealed that Mitchell's wife Lyndall had done an "amazing" job providing care for him during the ordeal.
“I actually spoke with him as the boys were training today - he’s going well, the vibrance is back in his voice,” McCartney said. “He’s definitely on the improve, and part of that is making sure that he does get that time to recover and be that person he was before Christmas when he left.
“We were concerned obviously because he was in a foreign country, we couldn’t provide the same level of support we probably could if he was here in Melbourne. We were really lucky that we’ve got a current board member in Anne-Marie Pellizzer and a former board member in Andrew Kaye who played quite a significant role in mobilising the right support on the ground in New York, so we were comfortable once we had those things in place.
“His wife Lyndall did an amazing job in caring for Sam while he was in hospital, but while also managing three kids over in New York. We want to make sure that we continue to provide that great care that Lyndall did when he was away, when he gets back.”
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