'Paralysed' ballet dancer Jack Widdowson back on stage

Jack Widdowson described his rehabilitation as "long and difficult"

A ballet dancer from Bath who was left badly injured after being attacked is dancing again after making a rapid recovery.

Jack Widdowson, 19, was told he might never dance again after suffering serious spinal injuries in an attack in Cardiff in November.

Now he is rehearsing for his first public performance on stage on Friday.

"I absolutely can't wait," he said. "Being back on the stage is obviously what I want to do."

Mr Widdowson joined the Bern: Ballett in Switzerland last August after attending the London Contemporary Dance School where he had been on a post-graduate course in performance.

He had been visiting his brother at Cardiff University when the attack happened last November.

'Truly astonishing'

"He wasn't moving any of his limbs," said Consultant Surgeon Paul Rhys Davis, of the city's University Hospital of Wales.

"He'd dislocated his neck in the middle of his cervical spine and there was significant pressure on his spinal chord. He needed urgent intervention."

His rehabilitation treatments have included hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions which he described as "long and difficult".

His father, Dr Julian Widdowson, said his son's progress was "truly astonishing".

"It's literally unbelievable that we would get this far," he said.

"When he wasn't able to move his muscles we were able to move them for him to make sure they didn't get stiff or reduce his range, which obviously for somebody in that field, performing at that level, needs that suppleness."

South Wales Police confirmed a man has been charged with attacking Mr Widdowson.

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