Hannah Storm Reflects on Burn Injury Nearly 10 Years Later: I Worried I'd 'Never Be on TV Again'

Sports journalist Hannah Storm discusses the life lessons her 2012 accident taught her

Hannah Storm
Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Sports journalist Hannah Storm is reflecting on the horrific burn accident that changed her life almost a decade ago.

On Dec. 11, 2012, the sportscaster was making dinner outside of her home when she noticed the flame on her grill had extinguished and wouldn't ignite. She turned off the gas but when she reignited it, the gas exploded in a fire ball.

Back in 2018, Storm told PEOPLE that "a little piece" of her nose "melted off" in the accident, that her eyesight was damaged and her hair had been burned off by the explosion.

Storm recently spoke to PEOPLE about that scary accident while discussing her role as co-host of Thursday Night Football, and revealed the lessons it's taught her.

The 59-year-old admits she has learned to slow down while working in the fast-paced, deadline-driven television industry.

"I think that one of the things that it did make me do that was permanent was a slowdown. Part of the reason I had that accident is I was rushing. I was in a hurry," she said. "I think I just ran around like a chicken with my head cut off a lot of times."

Hannah Storm burnsCredit: ABC

The road to recovery has not always been smooth and, at one point, Storm thought the accident had ended her career.

"I also thought there was a really good chance I would never be on television again when that happened. I thought there was a very realistic chance. If you'd seen what I looked like at the time, you would think the same thing," she said.

She kept her hopes high throughout the ordeal. If broadcasting wasn't in her future, Storm said she was prepared to shift her focus.

"But I also understood that even if I couldn't, that I had a lot of worth as a person, and that my worth isn't tied to how many hours I'm on TV and how many people see me and all of that ... that it's tied to my role as a mother. It's tied to what kind of person I am at my core, how much I'm helping others," she told PEOPLE.

Helping others also happens for Storm through her Hannah Storm Foundation, which provides medical support for children and families suffering from vascular birthmarks and related medical conditions.

"I strive to with my foundation, which has to do a lot with people who ... children and adults who are severely disfigured. I think it was a reminder of those priorities and thoughts and things that were already there," she said.

Today the television star, who has done everything from covering Super Bowls to co-commentating for The Bachelor Winter Games with Chris Harrison, continues to thrive in her career and appears to have put the accident behind her.

She said, "It's really good to reflect on it. I'm not afraid to reflect on it."

Updated by Karen Mizoguchi
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