'Greatest Showman' star Sam Humphrey, 24, fighting for his life in hospital
Actor Sam Humphrey, who starred in The Greatest Showman, is reportedly "fighting for his life" as he prepares for an operation in Los Angeles.
Humphrey, who played Charles Stratton (General Tom Thumb) in the major motion picture, suffers from Crohn's disease and skeletal dysplasia - also known as dwarfism - which affects the growth of bone and cartilage. The actor's Crohn's - a chronic inflammatory bowel disease - is reportedly made worse by his skeletal dysplasia.
According to TMZ, the 24-year-old has been in a hospital in LA for the past few weeks, where he is now awaiting an "extremely risky" surgery.
Humphrey's family released a statement confirming the news:
"He is currently under the care of some of the best doctors in the world at Cedars Sinai and is undergoing high-risk corrective surgery."
The 2017 musical was the actor's first big screen role, where his character was based on a real-life actor who lived in the 18th century.
The film, which also starred the likes of Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya, was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2018 Oscars.
Humphrey, who hails from New Zealand, was previously told by doctors that he would not live past the age of 18. Speaking to news.com.au, the 4ft 2in tall actor revealed:
"Due to when I was young doctors saying they don’t know what my future holds and that it was unlikely I would live past my 18th birthday, I was feeling very hopeless and depressed.
"I thought to myself, ‘What’s the point to this if I’m going to die in a few years? Why put it off?’ … I tried to kill myself a few times but the thought of what it would do to my family and friends was too much, and ultimately, I just couldn’t bring myself to end my life.
But I was struggling with these negative thoughts, [my] short stature, very little self-esteem and false confidence … I was dealing with a lot of negative thoughts in mind such as ‘you’ll never measure up to others’, ‘no one will ever truly love you’, ‘you’re not going to achieve anything because you’re too short'."
Just a few months later, Humphrey received an invitation to audition for a part in The Greatest Showman. The actor has since said that managing to break into the industry was a "dream come true".