Orlando Bloom recalled near-death experience that totally changed his life when he was 21

Orlando Bloom recalled near-death experience that totally changed his life when he was 21

Newly-engaged Orlando Bloom has revealed that a near-death experience when he was younger helped the actor to become the man he is today.

Bloom, who announced his engagement to musician Katy Perry last week after three years of dating, revealed in an interview with Men's Health in 2011 that a fall from three storeys at the age of 21 led to a broken back and a completely changed outlook on life.

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom Credit: Getty

Now 42 years old and about to get married, Orlando Bloom revealed that the fall was the "the making of me," revealing the hard work that he had to undertake in order to make a miraculous recovery, as well as the tough lessons his injury taught him.

Back in his younger days, Orlando Bloom found himself in between a rock and a hard place, in between two rooftops three storeys up. Bloom was climbing up a rooftop terrace with friends when the drainpipe he was scaling gave away, causing him to fall from a great height.

Orlando Bloom Credit: Getty

"It was a 'holy s**t' moment," admitted Bloom, saying he looked down below him and realised with great dread:  "There's nowhere for my feet to go!"

After he broke several vertebrae in his back and ended up paralysed for four days, doctors feared Bloom might never walk again. After multiple surgeries, the road to recovery was long and perilous, but Bloom dug deep to find the strength to walk again, and amazingly, he was riding horseback in Lord of the Rings a mere 18 months after his big fall.

The search for an adrenaline rush that had almost robbed Bloom of his legs was now being channelled into escapist fantasies for other people in one of the best film series of all time, and in their initial interview, Men's Health opened a window into the fear and uncertainty going through Bloom's mind at the time.

"Being laid up, not knowing how the rest of your life will play out–or even worse, knowing exactly how it’ll play out if you don’t fight for a different outcome–is one very real, very difficult stretch of time. A movie would handle this period through a montage suggesting the passage of days. Bloom lived every second of it."

Orlando Bloom Credit: Getty

Having recovered from what could be a life-changing injury, Bloom channelled his energy into his work, but never forgot about that harrowing fall. "I'm always working on my back," he revealed. "It hasn't prevented me from doing anything. But it's a constant reminder."

Bloom is no stranger to injuries, having broken his ribs, his nose and both of his legs, as well as cracking his skull on three separate occasions, but risk-taking is part of his DNA.

Orlando Bloom Credit: Getty

His modus operandi is "anything that brings me into my body and keeps me present. As opposed to out of your body, which is what we do the rest of the time. The world throws you out of your body, especially the cyberworld", he revealed, and as he prepares to get married to Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom will never forget how his life could have been far different from how it turned out.