Sherlock star Amanda Abbington has shared the extent of her fiancé Jonathan Goodwin’s injuries after he was left paralysed and in a wheelchair following a TV stunt that went horrifyingly wrong.
Jonathan, a highly skilled stunt performer had previously appeared on both Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent – but it was a stunt on America's Got Talent: Extreme in October 2021, that led the performer fighting for his life.
Speaking about the incident, Amanda revealed that Jonathan had "nearly died twice" and had been in a critical condition for several days after a dangerous suspension stunt at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia went horribly wrong, leading the skilled performer to plummet 30 feet towards the ground.
Following the fall Jonathan, 41, spent four months in hospital recovering from an extensive raft of injuries that included burns, broken legs and the loss of a kidney, which his partner Amanda even admitted had almost killed him.
The accident was especially poignant for the couple, as the Welsh daredevil had proposed to Amanda just weeks before his life-changing injuries.
Speaking on the Out to Lunch with Jay Rayner podcast, Amanda said: “He fell 30 feet and lost a kidney, broke both shoulder blades, shattered both legs, third degree burns, broke his spine and severed his spinal cord and nearly died. And then on the operating table, he nearly died again.”
The actress also went on to confirm that it is unlikely that Jonathan will ever be able to walk again.
She added: "He's paralysed now he's in a wheelchair. Unless there's a kind of stem cell surgery or that thing that Elon Musk is designing with the little chip, he'll be like that forever."
Jonathan was finally released from hospital earlier this year, with Amanda – who shares two children with former partner Martin Freeman – praising his courage as he progresses along the long and slow road to recovery.
She said: “His courage and his strength is something that I just aspire to be like. He's just incredible, honestly, like so happy, just like a very happy, positive human being, just liquid sunshine. He's amazing.”
During the life changing stunt, Jonathan had originally been suspended 70ft in the air, while clad in a straight jacket. He was supposed to free himself from his restraints before two cars located on either side of him would collide. However, the stunt went far from as planned, and Jonathan was unable to escape in time after the cars were released too early.
This meant he was struck from both sides by the cars, which then exploded on impact and sent him tumbling to the ground. In the ensuing fall, he also tragically missed the air mattress that was supposed to cushion his fall and, instead, hit his head on the ground.
The stunt man was lucky to survive and admitted himself, that he had “dodged the worst” but acknowledged that he had a “long road to recovery” ahead of him.
Speaking on Instagram following the accident, Jonathan wrote: “To death I say nananana boo boo.
"I have been to the very brink and dodged the worst that a human being can, without fear… because I was protected by love.
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“Love is all you need, so make sure you get some, cos its good s***.
"There is a long road to recovery and that won't look like what it did… I may leave the daft s*** alone for a while, but I have a lot left to do in this world. Maybe we can make something good together?”
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, Jonathan was airlifted to hospital, with his condition requiring complex surgery and a total stay of four months.
The producers behind the show, also released a statement following the accident, with production suspended temporarily while the full extent of the situation could be assessed. They said: “Our thoughts and prayers remain with Jonathan Goodwin and his family as he continues to recover from his accident on Thursday.
“In order to focus on the wellbeing of our crew, we will be temporarily pausing production on America’s Got Talent: Extreme and will resume the last few days of filming at a later date. The health and safety of our cast and crew continue to be our priority.”
Jonathan and Amanda plan to get married this summer.
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