Jonathan Goodwin Opens Up About 'America's Got Talent: Extreme' Accident That Left Him Paralyzed

The stuntman is paralyzed from the waist down.

Jonathan Goodwin is sharing his story after becoming paralyzed from the waist down following a stunt gone wrong during a taping of America's Got Talent: Extreme

In his first TV interview since the accident six months ago, Goodwin opens up about adjusting to being wheelchair bound. 

"I don't really have a great memory ...I know that there was a moment where I knew it was going wrong," he told Good Morning America of the near-fatal incident.

In October, a spokesperson for America's Got Talent told ET that during a rehearsal for America’s Got Talent: Extreme, "an accident occurred in which escape artist Jonathan Goodwin was injured while performing his act." According to TMZ, Goodwin was suspended 70 feet in the air in a straitjacket hanging by his feet from a wire, with two cars on either side of him swinging back and forth. He was attempting a stunt where he would free himself from the straitjacket and land on an air mattress before the cars crushed him. 

After the accident, Goodwin was in critical condition, and had broken legs and shoulders, a damaged kidney, a punctured lung, fractured ribs and a complete spinal fracture.

"The spinal surgeon said that my injury was the worst that he'd ever seen and also told me that there was a really good chance I wouldn't make it through the surgery," the 42-year-old stuntman told GMA.


Goodwin said following the accident, he told his fiancée of one month, Amanda Abbington, that she had "a get out of jail free card" -- but she stuck by him.

"Amanda has been there for me every day since and has been and was really my motivation to get through it," he shared.

The stuntman goes on to describe what it's like being paralyzed. "The closest thing that I can explain is that it's like somebody waves a magic wand and all of a sudden you're a baby and you have to learn everything you know."

Goodwin, who recently moved from Las Vegas back to London to be with Abbington and near his family, hopes to be a role model following his accident. 

"I think that the people that have disabilities are largely underrepresented in the media. If I can use that position to be able to help other people -- then I will," he expressed. "Obviously there are lots of things that I have lost, but I'm not concentrating on that -- for me, it was about creating a spectacle for an audience, showing people things that they'd never seen before. And that's absolutely something I can still do. Maybe in a different form."



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