Injured ballet dancer Jack Widdowson's 'miracle' recovery

The father of a 19-year-old ballet dancer who was badly injured during an assault in Cardiff says his recovery so far has been an "absolute miracle".

It was feared Jack Widdowson, who lives near Bath, may have been paralysed after suffering a spinal injury.

His father Dr Julian Widdowson believes his "incredible flexibility" may have saved his life and aided his recovery.

He added that his son could now walk short distances unaided and was undergoing extensive rehabilitation.

"Of course we know that Jack still has some enormous challenges and long hours of physiotherapy ahead of him, even just to get back to a normal level of mobility.

"However, this incident hasn't at all diminished his determination to succeed as a top ballet dancer," Dr Widdowson said.

"He's already talking with his tutors at the London Contemporary Dance School, who secured his apprenticeship with the prestigious ballet company in Bern, about how he can continue his coursework while he recovers and he is wholly focused on returning to the stage as soon as possible."

Enormous effort

He added: "Up until a week ago we didn't really expect to have a Christmas this year, however, now that Jack is back home and showing such strong signs of recovery we really do feel it is an occasion to celebrate."

Jack praised the support he had received from friends, family colleagues and his tutors.

"In the first few weeks it was taking an enormous amount of effort and concentration just to relearn how to do everyday activities such as holding a cup on my own and playing hangman with family members.

"Ballet is my passion... this has made me realise that now more than ever.

"I don't want this injury to define me or my career therefore, [during] even long and difficult hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions, I keep focused on the end goal, which is to dance again and hopefully continue my apprenticeship," he added.

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