While landing a role in the Harry Potter films would be a dream come true for most in the film industry, it proved to be anything but that for David Holmes.
In the legendary series Holmes was hired as Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double, quite the gig, eh?
In what was his ‘work’, Holmes would fly around on broomsticks and motorbikes, just to name a few of his stunts.
To be honest, it sounds more like fun than work, but that all changed for him on set one day.
In 2009, while Holmes was filming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, his life changed in an instant.
Catastrophically, an explosion that was part of a planned stunt resulted in Holmes plummeting to the ground and leaving him paralysed from the chest down.
Holmes was filming a broom flying sequence with a harness that was supposed to result in the stunt actor ‘jerking back’, but it instead went badly wrong.
Back in 2014, he spoke to The Mirror about his terrifying accident on set of the wizarding world.
He said: “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 realized what happened was major.
“I remember slipping in and out of consciousness because of the pain levels.
“I’d broken a bone before, so recognizing that weird feeling across my whole body from my fingertips right down to my toes, I knew I had really done some damage.”
Holmes was rushed to hospital where he was able to undergo major surgery, though he was left devastated when he woke up.
Not only was he left paralyzed from the waist down, but he was also left with only limited movement in his arms and hands.
While many people’s first thought would be whether they would be able to walk again, Holmes’ was whether he would be able to dance or have sex again.
“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 added.
“My first thought was, ‘Don’t ring mum and dad, I don’t want to worry them.'”
Since becoming disabled, Holmes took up automobile racing and has also launched a podcast with Radcliffe, called Cunning Stunts, where they interview other stunt actors about the risks they face. His attitude regarding his disability and dealing with adversity is truly remarkable.
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