Fry ‘lucky to be able to walk’ after falling off stage at 02
By Jack Hardy
STEPHEN FRY has revealed he is lucky to still be able to walk after being injured in a fall off the stage at the O2 Arena.
The actor and broadcaster broke his leg, pelvis and ribs after plunging 6ft as he tried to exit the stage at an AI conference in London in September.
Speaking about his recovery for the first time yesterday, the 66-year-old, pictured, revealed his pain was so severe that doctors persuaded him to take OxyContin, the highly addictive painkiller blamed for igniting an epidemic of opioid addiction in the US.
He told BBC Radio Two the accident happened when he turned to leave and ‘didn’t realise I was walking off a part of the stage where there was nothing but a 6ft drop onto concrete’.
Fry, who is now able to walk with a stick, told host Claudia Winkleman: ‘The person treating me told me he was treating a patient who had fallen on the same day as me, half the distance, and would never walk again.
‘So I really praise my lucky stars. If it had been the spine or the skull who knows.’
He also hailed the ‘extraordinary’ treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, where he initially tried to refuse OxyContin because he knew it was ‘the highly addictive opioid drug that is basically behind the opioid crisis’.
But a doctor talked him round, pointing out that it would accelerate his recovery significantly, as well as ‘help save the NHS money’ by discharging him earlier.
‘He said you misunderstand – I didn’t prescribe it for your sake at all, I prescribed it for the sake of the NHS,’ Fry said.
Without the drug, he would be lying in the hospital for ‘six or seven weeks’, or he could take the pill and the following day ‘a couple of burly physios’ would get him onto his feet to help him start to walk again.
‘So, these pills are not just for your comfort they are there to speed up your recovery to save the NHS money,’ Fry continued, quoting the doctor.
He added that having taken the opioid he got ‘terribly itchy’ and that it made him feel ‘grim’.
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