Orlando Bloom Recalls Nearly Fatal 1998 Fall That "Crushed" His Spine

Almost two decades after recovering from a devastating fall, Orlando Bloom is reflecting on just how far he’s come since that life-changing accident.

By Kisha Forde Aug 27, 2021 4:40 PMTags
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Orlando Bloom is feeling grateful after reflecting on a difficult time in his life.
On Friday, Aug. 27, the actor, 44, shared two photos of himself riding a bike, one retro, one recent. "That's me in my back brace, circa 1998 about 3 months after I fell 3 floors and crushed my spine, narrowly escaping death and paralysis," he captioned the Instagram post, referring to the first photo. "Grateful every day for my limbs that allow me to push my limits and live life on my edge (safer now)."
The Pirates of the Caribbean star opened up about the accident in an interview with GQ back in 2005. Bloom was climbing up a rooftop terrace with friends when the drainpipe he was scaling collapsed; the actor fell several floors, breaking his vertebrae in the process.

"Until then, I didn't have a healthy appreciation for life and death—that we're not invincible," he told the outlet. "And for four days, I faced the idea of living in a wheelchair for the rest of my life."

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"I went to some dark places in my mind," he added. "I realized, I'm either going to walk again or I'm not."

"The doctor said he wasn't sure how severe the spinal cord damage was," Bloom noted. "I remember him telling me that, and staring at the ceiling, thinking, I never stared at ceilings before! And I wonder if I'm going to be looking at ceilings for the rest of my life."

And although he was told there was a possibility that he would never walk again—four days later, Bloom had a "miraculous recovery," as he put it, in an interview with The Guardian earlier this year. After multiple surgeries, the actor not only made a full recovery but also saw his career skyrocket in the process.

Just 18 months after the fall, Bloom was even able to ride horseback when he landed his role in The Lord of the Rings film series.

As devastating as the father of two's fall was, the actor also shared his silver lining of the incident to GQ.

"That accident has informed everything in my life," he shared. "Until you're close to losing it, you don't realize. I used to ride motorbikes and drive cars like everything was a racetrack; it was ridiculous. It wasn't because I thought it was cool; it was just because I loved living on the edge. But I've chilled."

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