Soap stars’ most brutal injuries – ‘left for dead’, paralysis and horror smash

Soap opera fans are used to seeing their favourite TV characters handle tragedy on a daily basis as they navigate some shocking and violent storylines.

But in the case of some of Britain’s finest thespians, their private lives have as much drama as anything written for the screen.

From a horror quad bike accident, a tragic miscarriage and paralysation, these stars have weathered more tragedy than even the most talented screenwriters could fit into their usual 30-minute time slot.

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Let's take a look behind the glitz and glamour fans are used to seeing from the famous faces and discover some of the real-life brutal injuries of soap opera stars.

Paralysis Horror

Former Hollyoaks star Kelly-Marie Stewart suffered a tragic health blow after she was left wheelchair bound and lost her unborn baby after contracting the Zika virus.

The 38-year-old, who played Hayley Ramsey on the Channel 4 soap, claims she may well have been an early victim of the mosquito-borne illness after travelling to the Dominican Republic on holiday.

Soon after her trip she was told she had miscarried and was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, losing the use of her legs.

Describing her terrible flu-like symptoms, the former air hostess told the Liverpool Echo: “I put it down to picking up a bug, but I was covered from head to toe in mosquito bites – I looked like a Lion bar.”

She was 16-weeks pregnant at the time, but just a few days upon her return to the UK she sadly lost her unborn child.

Kelly-Marie – who welcomed daughter Daisie-Ann five years ago – defied the odds, however, and is now able to walk – sometimes using crutches.

She also became the first disabled actress to land a full-time role in Hollyoaks when she was cast as Hayley in 2008.

Graphic knee injury

Former EastEnders star Gary Lucy recently stunned fans when he shared a gruesome snap of his knee injury following a horror car crash on Boxing Day.

The Channel 4 Celebs Go Dating star, who is dating Love Island babe Laura Anderson, was left with horrific bruising following the smash which saw his black Range Rover left beyond repair.

He wrote alongside a snap: "Someone was watching over me today [100% emoji]."

The 41-year-old soap star said he was "lucky to be alive" after the smash on December 26.

Gary was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where he shared snaps of himself in a hospital bed before being allowed to head home with crutches.

Laura rushed to be by his side in hospital and shared a video of him leaving.

Devoted dad-of-four Gary shares India, Elvis, Sadie and Theo with ex wife, Natasha Grey, whom he was with for more than 14 years before splitting in 2018.

Near death experience

Former Home And Away star David Jones-Roberts was told he was lucky to be alive after a horror motorcycle accident in Los Angeles back in 2018.

The actor, who previously played Xavier Austin, revealed that he was cruising along when he hit the passenger's side of a car and “went flying”.

A firefighter at the scene had even told the actor: “You should be dead."

“I tried to get around him, but I hit the back passenger's side of the car and went flying,” David told New Idea.

He suffered a gruesome leg injury, ripping his quadriceps tendon in his left leg, and was forced to go through several serious surgeries to regain movement in the limb.

David confessed: “I had no control over being able to bend or lift the leg. I had to have surgery within 48 hours otherwise I might not be able to walk again.”

He concluded: “But I’m alive. It could have been worse.”

Bike accident

Coronation Street actor Qasim Akhtar revealed back in 2019 that he almost died when he was involved in a quad bike crash.

The star, best known for playing brooding Zeedan Nazir in the soap, shared pictures of himself in hospital via his Instagram account, which saw him left with a fractured arm and a bruised lung.

Posting a picture of himself in hospital on Instagram, he told his fans it was a “huge wake up call”.

Akhtar said: “Took a major L (Lesson) yesterday. Had an accident on the quad bike.

“Split my lower abdominal, bruised lung, Fractured arm and a couple deep wounds.

“To be honest though as bad as they sound and as much pain as I'm in right now I'm counting my blessings to have only picked up these injuries and not some life threatening ones.”

He went on to add that he had found a new appreciation for life.

“God works in mysterious ways. My appreciation for life just reached a new level,” he added.

The actor went on to urge his fans to learn from his accident – revealing that it was his crash helmet that helped him avoid a much darker fate.

He wrote: “I urge people riding quads to wear helmets cos even though legally you don’t need too, that saved me from a fatal injury for real.”

Horror smash

Former EastEnders actor Dean Gaffney was seriously injured in a horror car crash in Derbyshire back in 2013.

The actor, who played Robbie Jackson in the soap, was departing from an appearance in the play A Murder Is Announced when his car veered into a central reservation

His injuries were not thought to be life-threatening but a statement revealed "he's got some nasty head injuries but the good news is that he's going to be okay".

It went on: "It was a bad crash and we're grateful it wasn't any worse."

The 40-year-old was involved in two other smashes in recent years.

He walked away unscathed following a head-on car crash near the set of EastEnders back in 2019.

The other car was said to have been driven by a teenager and both drivers walked away without any serious injuries.

It came less than four months after Gaffney cheated death in a terrifying accident on the M25.

He revealed he'd had a "bump" in his car, adding: "There has been a crash which is why I'm driving a hire car."

The motor-mad star owned a £33,000 Mercedes, which he had delivered to the EastEnders set in March 2018 to celebrate the end of his year-long driving ban.

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