'America's Got Talent: Extreme' contestant Jonathan Goodwin reveals he was paralyzed in stunt gone wrong

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·3-min read

Jonathan Goodwin, the America’s Got Talent: Extreme contestant who suffered a horrific accident in a stunt gone wrong in October, is paralyzed.

The daredevil, 42, shared the health update on Tuesday that he has a T-11 spinal cord injury and is paralyzed from the waist down. He noted that it's likely permanent.

Alongside a photo of himself in a wheelchair with his dog on his lap, Goodwin wrote, "6 months ago I went to rehearse something and left this little hairy monkey waiting patiently for me… He didn't see his dad again until just a couple of weeks ago and when he finally did, dad had new cool wheels."

He said, "A lot has changed in the last 6 months, but love is a constant and I'm very, very loved. Looking forward to my next chapters and being a roll model."

Goodwin added in his Instagram Stories that he has a "T11 spinal cord injury which means I'm paralyzed from the waist down. It's likely a permanent sitch. If any of you want to race though, I'm pretty sure I can beat you… #BringIt."

(Screenshot: Jonathan Goodwin via Instagram)
(Screenshot: Jonathan Goodwin via Instagram)

According to the Shepherd Center, which specializes in treatment for spinal cord injury, the thoracic spine is in the upper and middle part of the back. There are 12 vertebrae numbered T-1 to T-12, with each number corresponding to the nerves in that section of the spinal cord. T-11 is toward the bottom and abdominal muscles are typically affected. Prognosis and recovery from such an injury differ from patient to patient.

Goodwin's fiancée, Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington, said on Monday's Out to Lunch podcast that the escapologist "nearly died" twice after the horrible accident.

"He fell 30 feet and lost a kidney, broke both shoulder blades, shattered both legs," Abbington said. "Third-degree burns, broke his spine and severed his spinal cord and nearly died. And then on the operating table, he nearly died again."

She added, "He's paralyzed now, he's in a wheelchair. Unless there's a kind of stem cell surgery or that thing that Elon Musk is designing with the little chip, he'll be like that forever."

The injury took place on Oct. 13 night when Goodwin, who was suspended from a wire high in the air and wearing a straitjacket, was supposed to free himself and fall onto an air mattress below. However, he became sandwiched between two cars, which then erupted into flames during his act, on the set at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia. He fell to the ground and was airlifted to a hospital.

He was released from the hospital in February, four months after he was injured.

The America's Got Talent spin-off, which temporarily halted production, was filming its first season and touted itself as "the most outrageous, unique and jaw-dropping acts of enormous scale and magnitude that simply cannot be confined to a theater stage," according to NBC. Goodwin had previously appeared on AGT in 2020.

The show — judged by Simon Cowell, WWE wrestler Nikki Bella and motocross/rally car driver Travis Pastrana and hosted by Terry Crews — eventually resumed production for five more tape days at the Irwindale Speedway in California. It premiered in February and had its finale in March.

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