“Harry Potter” stuntman talks of accident that paralyzed him for life
David Holmes, who stood in as Daniel Radcliffe’s stuntman on the Harry Potter films, suffered a horrific accident back in January 2009 while on the set of Deathly Hallows, which left him paralyzed for life. Said accident happened while rehearsing a “jerk back” stunt during a flying scene that caused him to severely injure himself, including breaking his neck.
Reported by the Mirror, Holmes has recently discussed the accident and how it obviously changed his life forever.
My first thought was, ‘Don’t ring Mum and Dad,'” he said. “‘I don’t want them to worry.’
I hit the wall and then landed on the crash mat underneath. My stunt co-ordinator grabbed my hand and said, ‘Squeeze my fingers’. I could move my arm to grab his hand, but I couldn’t squeeze his fingers.
“I looked into his eyes, and that’s when I realised what happened was major.”
Directly after it happened, he was “rushed to the local Watford General Hospital but transferred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.” It was there that he was told “he would be paralysed from the chest down, with only limited movement in his arms and hands.” Because of the accident, Holmes now has to use a wheelchair.
I have gone from being able to stand on my hands for half an hour at a time, and then all of a sudden I can’t sit up in bed.”
He also mentioned that while he was in hospital, where he had to stay for six months, he was visited by none other than Dan Radcliffe and Tom Felton. About his friendship with Holmes, Dan said,
“I’ve got a relationship that goes back many, many years with Dave. And I would hate for people to just see me and Dave and go, ‘oh, there’s Daniel Radcliffe with a person in a wheelchair’ – because I would never, even for a moment, want them to assume that Dave was anything except for an incredibly important person in my life.”
To raise money for medical bills for his friend, Dan hosted a celebrity auction and dinner.
Holmes exclaimed that “Dan was an absolute pleasure to work with” during his time filming the Harry Potter series and that “the cast and crew were like a second family.”
Although it was life-changing for him, his dedication to keep going did not back down.
There was definitely a sense of tragedy for me but also a sense of sheer determination to beat it and better it. Having a positive mental attitude means everything. I also think that if you’re positive about your disability then it can help you live with it.”
To still gain an adrenaline rush in life, he now frequently goes to a race track to drive a specially-modified car at extremely fast speeds.
Click here to read more from the interview.