Paul Nicholls is reportedly recovering in hospital after being trapped in a Thai jungle for three days, following a fall that smashed his leg.
The former EastEnders star, 38, spent 72 hours trapped in a rock pool with his injuries, after he plummeted from the top of a jungle waterfall, reports The Sun .
His ordeal only ended thanks to an eagle-eyed local, who raised the alarm – prompting a search – when they spotted his motorbike abandoned at the beauty spot on the island of Koh Samui. –
Local police were alerted by the passer-by, and a huge search to locate the actor was launched after they discovered Paul had hired the vehicle.
Rescue teams are believed to have spent hours hacking through undergrowth before finding him semi-conscious and suffering from hypothermia,
Paul spent three days in agony at the foot of the Khun Si falls, as he was unable to climb out of the water because of a busted right leg. –
– The jungle is said to be an inhospitable place, as it is infested with snakes, mosquitoes, spiders and leeches.
Hospital medics on the island last night described the actor as seriously ill after he contracted a bug during his hell, however, Paul was able to explain how lucky he was.
Speaking to the newspaper, the actor said: “I am lucky to be alive. I had a phone with me but I fell from such a height into the water it was unretrievable.
“It took such a long time to find me. It’s an understatement to say it wasn’t a great situation. It wasn’t that I was lost. –
– “The problem was I couldn’t move to get out of there. I’ve got a broken leg and I’m missing a kneecap. It needs complete reconstruction.”
A video obtained by the paper’s website showed the actor in a sorry state, being carried on a stretchaway by medics and a team of rescue workers.
He can be seen hooked to a drip before being hauled up a steep path to a village, and it’s thought that It took two more hours for him to reach the International Koh Samui Hospital. –
Speaking about his ordeal, a source close to him confirmed Paul had taken a break because he was “between filming”.
However, they also said he faced a fresh struggle as he needs surgery, but it will cost him around £90,000 to have it in Thailand.
The source confirmed the British Embassy were involved with the matter, and are hoping to get Paul to fly back to the mainland so a “proper hospital” can assess whether he’s well-enough to fly back to the UK to receive treatment.
Mirror Online has contacted a representative of Paul for comment.
The soap star first made his TV debut in 1996, when he signed on to play the role of Joe Wicks in EastEnders – with the character plagued by schizophrenia.
During his time on the soap the actor dated co-stars Martine McCutcheon and Danniella Westbrook . Though he also had high-profile battles with booze and drugs.
He quit the soap in 1997 and went on to appear in films including Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. – Mirror
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