I broke my neck falling off a trapeze – but I’m not leaving the circus

A circus performer who broke her neck in three places after a trapeze fall has boldly returned to the circus tent.

Megan Christian, 21, fell 18ft in front of horrified crowds in Sheerness, Kent last summer but has decided to brave the dizzying heights again.

The trapeze artist broke her neck in three places terror fall at the Santus Circus at Barton’s Point Seaside Park in July.

Luckily, an off-duty firefighter in the audience rushed over to help Megan’s colleagues as she lay unconscious, and an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital.

The audience was in shock and Megan’s family, who were unable to accompany her due to Covid restrictions, were left behind.

But just eight months after the traumatic fall, Megan is back on the air with a new act.

Two of her spinal injuries have healed and one is supported by a metal needle.

Despite doctors warning her to stay away from trapezes for at least six months, Megan had returned to what she loves by December.

Megan Christian
Megan Christian says she will continue performing.
Facebook / Megan Christian

She forced herself to face the failed trick again and practiced it at home, but decided to reinvent herself with a different routine.

She now performs in a giant heart-shaped prop at the Circus in Maidstone until April 24th.

Megan, who is from Iwade, Sittingbourne, told it KentOnline: “You always know there is a risk. They are doing work that is unnatural to the body.

“But it made me think about things differently now that I’ve been given a second chance.

“Everyone said I was crazy to go back and do something different, but the circus is my blood.

Megan Christian
Megan Christian’s fall was caught on video by some viewers.
Facebook / Megan Christian

“Seeing the expressions on the kids’ faces watching the show just makes it all worthwhile. I don’t want to do anything else.”

She added: “I have a place at home where I practice – I got back up and forced myself to do that trick again because I didn’t want to have a mental block.

“But after that, I decided I needed a fresh start and bought a new heart-shaped prop.

“My new routine is easier than before, but the main thing was to just get back in the air and start working.”

Some of the viewers last July saw Megan’s horrifying fall on video that circulated online before the circus asked for all footage to be removed.

Megan said: “I felt completely fine that day and got through the first show with no problems. Then I fell on the second show.

“There was no problem with the rigging. It was just one of those things.

“It was a slip. I remember holding on and thinking, “I’m going to fall.” I couldn’t stop myself because my body was spinning with quite a lot of force.”

Megan Christian
Megan Christian says the circus is in her blood.
Facebook / Megan Christian

At first, Megan thought she just broke her shoulder.

She said: “When they took me to Medway Maritime Hospital and told me I had broken my neck in three places, that was one moment where I was lying with my jaw on the floor.

“I shivered down my spine because I hadn’t prepared for it at all. Suddenly I was quite nervous. It didn’t go away until after the surgery when I found I could still stand.”

“I remember one of the doctors stroking my hair and telling me it was fine, and the nurses helped me take off my costume and makeup.”

Circus announcer Chris Barltop also commented on the newspaper: “We are glad that Megan is back in the air. She’s a brave girl. But those are circus people to you.”

He said: “Safety nets and lunges are not always appropriate. When a performer leaves contact with the trapeze to fly through the air, they would use a safety device.

“But under normal circumstances on a static trapeze, it would actually handicap the performer. As with many sports, there are risks. But while such events naturally grab the headlines, accidents in the circus are rare.”

This story originally appeared on The sun and is reproduced here with permission. I broke my neck falling off a trapeze – but I’m not leaving the circus


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