Kevin Hart stepped out publicly for the first time since his horror car crash to attend the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles.
The comedian, 40, was left needing emergency surgery on his back after suffering three fractures in his spine when his car veered off the road and into a ditch in Malibu.
Doctors told Kevin that his recovery could take up to a year and it’s thought the Get Hard star won’t be fully back to work until early 2020, as he’s focusing on his rehabilitation.
But, stepping out for the first time since the nearly-fatal collision, Kevin took to the stage at the awards to collect his gong for Comedy Movie Star of 2019.
Robert Downey Jr. presented Kevin with the award, who then referenced his crash, that took place at the beginning of September, in his acceptance speech.
Kevin said: ‘First and foremost, thank God, because I definitely don’t have to be here.
‘Being that I am, it makes me appreciate life even more. It makes me appreciate the things that really matter… family. I want to thank my wife, my kids, who really stepped up to the plate for me.’
Kevin is married to wife Eniko Parrish and has three kids; sons Hendrix, 12, and Kenzo, two, and 14-year-old daughter Heaven.
‘I truly want to thank you guys for being there for at my difficult time,’ Kevin told his fans.
Kevin had been in his car with two other people – driver Jared Black and Jared’s fiancee Rebecca Broxterman – when the vintage Plymouth Barracuda veered off the highway and ended up in a gully about 10 feet off the road.
Both Kevin and Jared were taken to hospital after sustaining ‘major back injuries’, but Rebecca did not need medical treatment.
According to TMZ, official reports filed on the incident reveal the crash was caused by the ‘driver’s sudden acceleration’.
Kevin recently shared a tear-jerking video of his recovery with fans and it begins with clips of him in the hospital, wearing a heavy back brace and breathing apparatus and being assisted out of bed by two nurses.
In the clip, he says of the incident:‘Basically what you realise is that you’re not in control. No matter how much you think you’re in control, you’re not in control.
‘At the end of the day, it can all be over, man.’
He adds: ‘When God talks, you listen. I swear, life is funny because some of the craziest things that happen to you end up being the things you needed most.
‘After my accident, I see things differently. I see life from a whole new perspective and my appreciation for life is through the roof.’