A miracle – I’m alive!

By admin
23 September 2010

He’s different to the chubby-cheeked star familiar to Isidingo fans.

He’s lost 20 kg, his face is scarred, his jaw has changed shape and his blond hair is hidden by a cap. But at least he’s alive, actor Arno Marais(26) says.

He slipped in and out of a coma for four weeks after the car crash in July and at times it was touch and go. Yet he astounded doctors with his remarkable recovery.

Arno is still on our TV screens as Isidingo’s troublesome teen Benjamin le Roux because those scenes were filmed months before the accident. Soon the character will disappear for a while.

It seems he’s lucky to be around. There’s still swelling on his brain and he’s been diagnosed with diffuse axonal injury, a severe head injury (90 per cent of patients don’t survive it or emerge brain-damaged).

‘‘I think I’m here by the grace of God,’’ Arno says. Other than occasional memory lapses he’s mentally fit. ‘‘I feel like I have my brain back.’’

He says his mood shifts between anger and depression.

‘‘Sometimes I realise months of my life have just gone and it’s hard not to think, ‘Someone is going to pay for this’. And there are days when I feel down. Life is slow and I have to take things easy when all I want to do is go back to the thing I love most, acting.’’

Good news for Arno and his fans is he doesn’t have long to wait. According to the soapie’s executive producer, Pumla Hopa, he’ll be back on the Isidingo set in January.

‘‘Watching my scenes at the moment is great motivation to get better,’’ he says.

‘‘I want to be back on set as soon as possible. Not working would kill me – although I’m a bit nervous I might mess up my lines.’’

* Police are still investigating the accident.

Read more about Arno in YOU, 30 September 2010.

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