'Chronicles of Narnia' star Georgie Henley reveals scars from bacterial infection that nearly KILLED her
CAMBRIDGE, UK: Countless young girls were inspired by Georgie Henley's portrayal of Lucy Pevensie in 'The Chronicles of Narnia'. The 27-year-old actress, who started in the Disney series when she was just 10, has now shared a disturbing piece of news that will surely come as a shock to her fans. She shared a picture and a statement on Twitter on Tuesday, October 25, disclosing that she almost died after contracting a rare bacterial infection at the age of 18. In addition to leaving her arm covered in scars, the infection required skin grafts and additional procedures in order to avoid having to amputate her arm.
"When I was eighteen years old and in my sixth week of university, I contracted necrotising fasciitis, a rare and punishing infection that nearly claimed my life and wrought havoc throughout my body," she wrote. "In order to prevent the amputation of my left hand and arm I received grueling invasive surgery, and later extensive reconstructive surgery which resulted in a series of skin grafts and scars."
Henley, who most recently played Margaret Tudor, the sister of Henry VIII, in 'The Spanish Princess', also shared a photo of herself with the scars on her right arm on full display. She shared that for nearly a decade she took measures to conceal the marks left by the infection, but is now choosing to reveal them to the world, adding the tagline "finally free."
"For the last nine years, I have been open about my scars in my personal life but have hidden them entirely in any professional context: wearing bandages or coverings, makeup on set and stage, long sleeves whenever I might be photographed, trousers so I could put my hand in my pocket," Henley recalled.
The actress explained that she was worried her scars would prevent her from getting work in the industry. "The truth is [that] there is no such thing as 'perfection,' but I have still lived with the shame of feeling different, exacerbated by the expectations that came with beginning my career at a young age," she continued, "But my scars are not something to be ashamed of. They are a map of the pain my body has endured, and most importantly, a reminder of my survival. They do not affect my capacity as an actor and I’m proud to be a person who has visible scars in this industry."
Henley concluded the emotional post by thanking her family, friends and those who supported her throughout the challenging time, including the staff of Addenbrooke’s Hospital. "Thank you to my agents and the people who have employed me in the last nine years, who never saw my scars as a problem and respected who I was as a person and actor," she wrote. "Thank you, lastly, to every person who is reading this and has supported me and my work. It truly means more than you can know. I’m sure I will talk more about my experiences in the future, but today I am simply happy to feel, for the first time in a very long time, finally free."