Upon arriving at the hospital, Liam Neeson was shown an X-ray of his wife’s brain. According to the actor, it showed her brain “squashed up against the side of the skull.” The doctor told the actor that Natasha Richardson was brain dead and was on life support. It was apparent that the actress wouldn’t recover from her condition, and Neeson decided to fly her back to New York for family and friends to be able to say their final goodbyes (via People).
An autopsy was conducted on Richardson, and the results showed that she died from an epidural hematoma due to blunt impact from her fall. According to experts, symptoms of a brain injury don’t always manifest immediately, which is what happened to Richardson. It is sometimes referred to as the “Talk and Die Syndrome,” as explained by Dr. Douglas Katz, a professor of neurology. “The person may appear fine initially because the mass of blood in the head is expanding and there isn’t too much pressure on the brain yet,” he said, per Brain and Life. In cases like Richardson’s, it is vital for the patient to undergo surgery immediately to stop the bleeding and relieve pressure on the brain. Patients typically recover without issues if the blood clot is removed.