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Orlando Bloom recalls being told he may never walk again: ‘One of the darkest times of my life’

The actor fell three stories from a window and broke his back when he was 19 years old. 
/ Source: TODAY

Orlando Bloom is opening up about one of the scariest and most difficult moments of his life. 

In honor of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star — who is also an international goodwill ambassador for UNICEF — spoke about the challenges he faced after suffering a serious accident as a teenager. 

“When I was 19 I fell three floors from a window and broke my back,” he began in a UNICEF video about mental health shared in a joint Instagram post. “I was very fortunate to survive the fall because my spinal cord was still just intact.”

However, Bloom received some alarming news while he was in the hospital. “I was told for the first four days that I may never walk again,” he said. 

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.”

After having surgery on his back, Bloom had to wear a brace and start physical therapy. Just 12 days later, he walked out of the hospital on crutches. He said his recovery was “really remarkable and unheard of.”

As he continued his recovery at home, Bloom struggled.  

“I would say the months after the fall were quite a dark time,” the 45-year-old actor recalled. “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 injury also allowed him the time and space to reexamine his life and be grateful for everything he had. The experience made him adjust his outlook on life going forward. 

Speaking about the importance of mental health, Bloom said the subject “is particularly challenging because it’s unseen.”

He added, “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.” 

The conversation can begin with one simple question, he concluded. He encouraged fans to start asking, “What’s on your mind?” 

Last year, Bloom reflected on his frightening fall in an Instagram post. 

The “Lord of the Rings” star shared a throwback photo of him riding a bike as well as a more recent photo of him cruising along a road. 

“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 every day for my limbs that allow me to push my limits and live life on my edge (safer now).”