The Challenge’s Nelson Thomas leaves hospital, vows to return to the show ‘one day’ in video update

nelson thomas during a promo video for world championship spinoff
Nelson Thomas in a promotional video for The Challenge: World Championship. Pic credit: @TheChallenge/YouTube

Nelson Thomas appears to be in great spirits upon his release from the hospital following another stay to address ongoing health issues due to his car crash last month.

The Challenge star, all smiles, shared a few video updates as he rolled himself out through the hospital doors in a wheelchair, his right ankle and leg bandaged and elevated.

As part of his video update, Nelson thanked his friend Hunter Barfield for contacting ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky to record a special video.

The 34-year-old reality TV star was involved in a serious wreck in April, which involved a group of passersby stopping to rescue Nelson from his vehicle, which was on fire.

That accident resulted in severe injuries, particularly to his leg and ankle, for which he’s had multiple surgeries and will need rehab to get back to his previous condition.

Most recently, Nelson was hospitalized due to another infection, as he shared in a previous health update, showing that a doctor was checking on fluid around his heart.

Nelson Thomas leaves the hospital, shouts out ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky and castmate Hunter

Taking to his Instagram Story on Thursday, The Challenge’s Nelson appears in a video update as he wheels himself out of the hospital, wearing dark shorts, a light-colored shirt, and a baseball cap.

“I’m free, baby. I’m free,” he exclaimed, taking a breath of fresh air outside of the hospital.

“Today is the day, man. I’m finally out of the hospital,” he shared, adding, “The doctor says I still got fluid around my heart. I got a checkup in two weeks. They finally released me- discharged me, and said, ‘You’re good to go, Nelson.'”

He shared that he felt “good” and can now breathe with “no chest pains” before expressing his gratitude to “everyone out there” for their love, prayers, and support through DMs, text messages, and video.

“It kept me strong…and I’m here, man. Heart’s pounding full of blood,” Nelson said.

He gave a “special shoutout” to Dan [Orlovsky], a former NFL quarterback now working as an ESPN TV personality and commentator.

Based on Nelson’s comments, his Challenge castmate and friend Hunter Barfield reached out to Orlovsky, who then recorded a special video with a message for Nelson.

“I just want to thank everyone out there. I’m kinda flustered with my words right now because, man, it feels so good,” he said, adding, “And yes, Dan, I will be back on The Challenge one day. One day.”

ESPN’s Orlovsky sent a message of support to Nelson as he recovers

In a third slide above, also shared on Nelson’s IG Story, Orlovsky appears in a video message he sent Nelson to encourage him in his ongoing journey toward recovery.

“Just wanted to give you a message to stay with it. We all gotta have somebody to watch,” Orlovsky, a known fan of The Challenge, said.

“Keep grinding. Stay tough. Stay mentally tough. We’re all pulling for you, man. We love watching you and the energy and the attitude and watching you through the years, man,” Orlovsky said.

“I know we’ve never met, but I’m a big fan. So many of us are about the person you are. So stay hopeful, alright? Keep fighting. Get healthy, man, and hopefully, we’ll see you again on our television soon,” he said.

Orlovsky’s made it no secret that he’s a fan of MTV’s competition series, often referencing the show or cast members during his appearances for debates on ESPN programs.

That included him calling out Double Agents cast members for their failure to compete in a daily event. During one ESPN show, Orlovsky jokingly called out Nelson’s Ride or Dies move, involving his big elimination decision.

It was all in good fun, as Nelson seemed to enjoy that interaction with the ESPN personality, and it appears Orlovsky’s latest video message also lifted his spirits.

It’s clear that many people are rooting for Nelson to overcome his latest health challenges and eventually get back to doing the things he loves, including training and competing on The Challenge.

The Challenge: USA Season 2 premieres Thursday, August 10, at 10/9c on CBS. The Challenge: World Championship episodes are available on Paramount Plus.

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