David Holmes was the stunt double for Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone in 2001 to the first instalment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2009.
Then, when he was 27, and rehearsing a scene for the Deathly Hallows, a film set explosion went wrong.
Holmes was flying in the air when he was thrown into a wall and pulled back by a high-strength wire, breaking his neck. According to an article in The Mirror at the time, Holmes laid on the ground, conscious, before telling his colleagues, “I can’t feel my legs”.
Speaking to the same publication in 2014, Holmes recalled, “I hit the wall and then landed on the crash mat underneath”.
“My stunt co-ordinator grabbed my hand and said, ‘Squeeze my fingers’. I could move my arm to grab his hand but I couldn’t squeeze his fingers.
“I looked into his eyes and that’s when I realised what happened was major.”
He was rushed to hospital by paramedics, and there he was told he would be paralysed for life from the waist down.