Orlando Bloom recently shared how a near-death experience as a teen changed his entire outlook on life.
The actor opened up about how he got through one of the darkest moments of his life after suffering a horrible accident in a video for UNICEF in honor of World Mental Health Day on Monday. Bloom, who serves as an international goodwill ambassador for the organization, began the clip by explaining, “When I was 19 I fell three floors from a window and broke my back. I was very fortunate to survive the fall because my spinal cord was still just intact. And when I was in hospital, I was told for the first four days that I may never walk again.”
He continued, “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.” As a result of that accident, the Pirates of the Caribbean star had to undergo spinal surgery and then began extensive physical therapy as part of his recovery process, as well as wearing a back brace. But thanks to all that hard work he “actually walked out of hospital on crutches after 12 days, which was really remarkable and unheard of.”
Bloom went on to confess that the first few months “after the fall was quite a dark time. 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. And I would say that, for me, the injury created time and space for me to look at my life, recognize what was good and great in my life, and the fact that I had this recovery, and then build that into the way that I live my life. Because mental health is particularly 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. It starts with one moment, one conversation, it starts with one question, ‘What’s on your mind?’”
Bloom also previously opened up about his life-threatening accident in a post on Instagram last year, sharing a photograph of himself riding his bike while wearing the back brace. “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 wrote in the caption. “Grateful everyday for my limbs that allow me to push my limits and live life on my edge (safer now🙏).”