Orlando Bloom Was Told He 'May Never Walk Again' After Near-Fatal Fall: 'Quite a Dark Time'

The actor opened up about his mental health struggles while recovering from a three-story fall at age 19

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom. Photo: Dave Benett/WireImage

Orlando Bloom has shared more about "one of the darkest times" of his life.

On Monday, the Pirates of the Caribbean alum, 45, recounted his physical and mental recovery after a near-fatal fall as a teen. The actor detailed the accident, sharing that he was climbing up to a roof terrace when the drainpipe he was holding onto collapsed.

"When I was 19 I fell three floors from a window and broke my back," he said in a joint Instagram video with UNICEF. "I was very fortunate to survive the fall because my spinal cord was still just intact."

"When I was in the hospital, I was told for the first four days that I may never walk again," Bloom recalled. "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."

The star said that after his surgery, he was put into a back brace and started physical therapy. After just 12 days in the hospital, Bloom walked out on crutches.

Despite his "remarkable and unheard of" physical recovery, the actor said his mental health is what struggled when he returned home.

"I would say the months after the fall were quite a dark time," he admitted. "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."

"Mental health is particularly challenging because it's unseen," Bloom said in the clip, noting that he was able to improve by using his injury as a way to reflect on his life.

"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," he continued. "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. It starts with one moment, one conversation. It starts with one question: What's on your mind?"

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom/Instagram

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Back in a 2005 profile with GQ, Bloom shared that his accident changed his outlook on life.

"When I came out of the hospital, I started partying straight away — with the back brace on. It took me a couple of months to realize this was my life, and I didn't want to mess it up," Bloom remembered.

"But that accident has informed everything in my life," he added at the time. "Until you're close to losing it, you don't realize. I used to ride motorbikes and drive cars like everything was a racetrack; it was ridiculous. It wasn't because I thought it was cool; it was just because I loved living on the edge. But I've chilled."

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