'I've been this Gaynor longer than I was the old Gaynor': Actress who fell 5 storeys during 1989 performance reflects on her life today

2018-12-14 12:15
Gaynor Young today.

Gaynor Young today. (Facebook)

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Gaynor Young, the actress who fell 18m down a stage shaft during a performance at the State Theatre in Pretoria in 1989, has written a moving account of her life 29 years after the fall that left her with multiple debilitating injuries and ended her career.

Young was performing the lead in a performance of Camelot when she fell down a stage shaft as she misstepped in the darkness backstage.

According to reports at the time, she spent five weeks in a coma and received intensive therapy for years. She lost her hearing and 60% of her sight. In addition, she had to learn to walk, eat and speak, after breaking both legs, both arms, her ribs and every bone in her face.

On Sunday, Young posted a picture of herself on her Facebook page Ear Ear with the following inspiring message:

"Today it is 29 years since I fell from the stage at The State Theatre.

"Twenty-nine! And I was 28 at the time. I have been 'this' Gaynor longer than I was the old Gaynor! The Gaynor that could sing and dance, hike up mountains, swing around lampposts and do handstands!

gaynor young

Gaynor Young as Bianca in 'Othello' in this file picture. (Twitter) 

'I long for the old Gaynor'

"I long for that Gaynor. But would that Gaynor still be able to do handstands at the age of 57, I wonder? Laugh, probably not!

"What would my life be like if I hadn’t fallen that day? Who knows? I can only look at what it is now. And rejoice!

"After 18 years of hearing nothing, I have got my hearing 'back' through my cochlear implants.

"The woman who the specialist claimed would never be able to do anything but lie on her back, staring mindlessly at the ceiling, won the South African Blog of the Year Award a couple of years ago [Young won the award in 2015]. Plus she has been back onstage in her two one woman shows!"

"This woman gets so much joy hearing the birds sing.

'I wouldn’t have it any other way’

"With my 40% eyesight, I now notice so much beauty that others often miss.

"I am unable to cycle and climb the hills and mountains with my friends, but I can now walk and even run in an extremely haphazard way! One of my delights is taking Perdita, the little dog that shares my home with me, for the weekly Park Run in the Botanical Gardens! Or rather the weekly Park Walk!

"I know what the darkness of that pit felt like and through the help of my God, mums, family and friends, I have been shown a way along the lighted passage. It has taken me a totally different route to what I had planned. It is an interesting, joyful and yes, at times frustrating course.

"I wouldn’t have it any other way.

"I now sit outside at 05.30 in the mornings, sipping coffee and simply exult in being alive, in being part of this beautiful world.

"And I glory in how incredibly lucky and blessed I am."

Read more on:    pretoria  |  good news

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