Talk show host Jay Leno needed skin grafts after car fire

He remains in a specialised hospital after suffering second-degree and possible third-degree burns in the accident



Published: Thu 17 Nov 2022, 12:17 AM

Last updated: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 11:44 AM

US talk show host Jay Leno required skin grafts for significant burns to his face and hands from an explosion involving a vintage car, and will undergo further surgery this week, his doctor said Wednesday.

The former anchor of "The Tonight Show" remains in a specialised Los Angeles hospital after suffering second-degree and possible third-degree burns in an accident while working on a vehicle at his private garage Sunday.

"I do anticipate him making a full recovery," said Dr Peter Grossman, who described 72-year-old Leno's condition as "good."

"Our hope is when everything is all said and done he will do well," Grossman said.

"But burn injuries are progressive and dynamic and it's hard to predict ultimately what the final outcome will be at this stage of the game."

Leno, a renowned motoring enthusiast with a huge collection of rare and expensive cars and motorcycles, was underneath a vehicle when the accident occurred.

A fuel leak covered Leno in gasoline which was ignited by a spark.

Grossman told journalists it was too early to say if Leno will require additional surgery beyond the second procedure scheduled later this week.

Leno has also been undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which stimulates oxygen circulation in the blood stream to speed up the healing process.

But, said Grossman, he was in good spirits.

"He's Jay Leno. He's walking around and he's cracking jokes," the doctor said.

"I can tell you he's incredibly kind to our nursing staff... He's been appreciative of everybody here and he's an ideal patient, and one who understands the seriousness of his injury."

Leno took over the helm of "The Tonight Show" after Johnny Carson retired in 1992, carrying on a tradition of television that has defined US late nights for decades.

After stepping away in 2009 for a brief stint fronting "The Jay Leno Show," he returned to host "The Tonight Show" until 2014, when Jimmy Fallon took over.

He has also fronted seven seasons of "Jay Leno's Garage."

In a statement released Monday, Leno said he would need "a week or two to get back on my feet."

But Grossman cautioned Wednesday that his recovery would likely be slower, and that he had warned the entertainer he needed to "step it back a little and realize" treatment will take some time.

Grossman added: "I do feel he will be back to work at some point soon and back to the things that he loves to do."

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