Orlando Bloom recalls ‘near-death’ experience and being told he may never walk again

Orlando Bloom
Photo credit Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Doctors had some scary news for Orland Bloom when he was 19.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star detailed a frightening incident from his youth and how it impacted his mental well-being as part of a UNICEF video for World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10.

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“When I was 19 I fell three floors from a window and broke my back,” Bloom said in the UNICEF video (he’s also a goodwill ambassador for the humanitarian organization). “I was very fortunate to survive the fall because my spinal cord was still just intact.”

In the hospital post-fall Bloom was told for his first four days there he “may never walk again.”

“That was really the beginning of what was a long and painful journey for me into recognizing and understanding some of the patterns that had been in my life that had led me to having numerous accidents. And the culmination was breaking my back, which was a near-death experience.”

Bloom had intensive back surgery and then needed to wear a brace and enter physical therapy. After 12 days he left the hospital on crutches which he called “unheard of.”

It’s when he got home and kept up with physical therapy where things started to take a turn.

“I would say the months after the fall were quite a dark time,” he said. “As somebody who’d sort of always been very active in my life, it felt very restrictive all of a sudden and I was in a lot of pain.”

His experience with coming back from the injury had him re-evaluate and adjust his own life and view on mental health. Bloom believes the subject can be challenging because it’s “unseen.”

“There is always an opportunity for you to transform the pain, whether it be physical or mental, into the great, good fortune of your life. And it is so important to reach out to people, to talk to people, to find somebody, in order to create the possibility for communication that leads to transformation and change.”

Orlando Bloom will next star in the crime drama “Red Right Hand.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images