SIMON Cowell is lucky not to be paralyzed after breaking his back in three places in a fall from his electric bike.
Simon, 60, who needed six hours of surgery, missed injuring his spinal cord by a centimeter.
Simon Cowell broke his back in three places during a cycling accident[/caption]
The TV personality was trying out his powerful new electric bike when the accident occurred[/caption]
A source said: “He could have been looking at a life in a wheelchair.”
Cowell fell and broke his back after trying out a powerful new electric bike — and accidentally pulling a wheelie.
His son Eric, six, and his partner Lauren Silverman’s teenage lad Adam watched in horror as Simon, 60, fell backwards and smashed down onto a concrete floor at his Los Angeles home.
A source said: “He was testing out his new bike with Eric and Adam and the power of it surprised him a bit.
Cowell’s son Eric and his partner Lauren Silverman’s son Adam witnessed the incident[/caption]
“He fell back directly onto his back and immediately knew he was in trouble. He was in a bad way.”
Simon needed almost six hours of surgery to insert a metal rod in his spine after breaking three vertebrae.
He now faces a long stay in hospital — scuttling his plans to star in tomorrow night’s live launch of the new America’s Got Talent series.
Doctors told the TV mogul he was “very lucky” not to have suffered paralyzing injuries.
Simon was rushed to Providence Saint John’s hospital in Santa Monica[/caption]
Simon is thought to have missed damaging his spinal cord — part of the body’s central nervous system — by a centimeter.
The source said: “It was a really, really bad fall — but he’s very lucky to have escaped with the injuries he has.
“Had he damaged the spinal cord he could have been looking at life in a wheelchair, but thanks to the doctors he is hopeful of making a full recovery.”
Hollywood’s Christopher Reeve spent the final decade of his life in a wheelchair after damaging his spinal cord in a fall from a horse.
Simon was taken to Providence Saint John’s hospital in Santa Monica, a short drive from his $23.5million beachside property in Malibu.
Lauren, 43, joined him at the medical centre on Saturday afternoon. He was later taken into theatre for an operation by some of California’s best surgeons.
He was in theatre for more than five hours, under general anaesthetic, as doctors inserted a series of screws and a metal rod to stabilise his spine.
Simon was awake today talking to medical staff and members of his team by phone.
Simon needed almost six hours of surgery to insert a metal rod in his spine[/caption]
He now faces an anxious wait to learn the extent of the damage — and almost certainly faces a lengthy stay in hospital.
Those close to him hope he will suffer no lasting effects but say it could take “several weeks” before they know for sure.
A source added: “He’s only just out of surgery and feeling very groggy but is awake and upbeat.
“Everyone hopes he will make a full recovery but they don’t want to count their chickens just yet.
Simon injured himself in a fall down stairs at his London home in October 2017[/caption]
“Ultimately he has had a very, very serious accident.
“He’s lucky to be even in the state he is in with a metal rod in his back and multiple breaks.
“It’ll be several weeks for the bruising and swelling to go down and then we’ll know how serious the lasting effects could be.”
A spokesman for The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent boss said: “Simon has broken his back in a number of places in a fall from his bike whilst testing a new electric bike in the courtyard of his home in Malibu with his family.
Simon hopes to make the America’s Got Talent final which is scheduled for September 23[/caption]
“He was taken to hospital where they operated overnight. He’s under observation and is doing fine.”
Simon, a workaholic who was discussing business from his hospital bed after coming around from the anaesthetic, is now likely to miss a string of TV commitments — not least AGT.
Insiders say he optimistically hopes to be well enough to return for the end of the new AGT series, in late September.
The America’s Got Talent final is scheduled for September 23 with Simon planning to fly home the next day so he can also be at the final Britain’s Got Talent.
‘LIVED LIKE A VAMPIRE’
A source added: “We will see how he goes. If he had his way he’d be back at work on Monday but it’s more likely that we’re going to aim for the AGT final.
“It’s too soon to think about anything more or BGT at this point.”
Simon has spent a year getting into shape after a health scare. In December he told how he had dropped four waist sizes after cutting out red meat and reducing his sugar intake.
He has shed even more weight by continuing his healthy regime in lockdown in Los Angeles.
Doctors said Simon was ‘very lucky’ not to have suffered paralysing injuries[/caption]
Simon decided to act after he injured himself in a fall down stairs at his London home in October 2017.
He was taken to hospital by ambulance and diagnosed with low blood pressure.
Simon blamed it on his unhealthy lifestyle. He said he “lived like a vampire”, staying awake until 8am every day.
The bike accident comes days after The Sun revealed Simon will miss the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals for the first time.
Simon dropped four waist sizes after cutting out red meat nd reducing his sugar intake[/caption]
Most read in Bizarre
He will not be there in person because changes to filming schedules caused by Covid-19 has led to a clash between the US and British versions of the show.
A source revealed: “Simon is gutted to not be physically there for the semi-finals but he’ll be there virtually, casting an eye over the talent and imparting his views in every show.
“He can keep an eye on David Walliams to make sure he doesn’t get too big for his boots while Simon is in the States.
“Normally, schedules mean Simon can do both but AGT’s dates haven’t moved while BGT’s have due to coronavirus.”
By Carol Cooper, Sun doctor
AN injury like this can have some very severe consequences, including paralysis.
The type of fractures that people get from fragile bones due to osteoporosis are compression fractures and they heal on their own.
But with a traumatic fracture like Simon’s there’s a high chance of needing surgery to realign bone fragments.
Even if you don’t have dire neurological effects at the time of the injury, with an unstable fracture there can be complications after the injury.
If the vertebral fragments are out of alignment, it can press on the spinal cord.
In Simon’s case, surgeons had to fix the fracture internally to stabilise the bones.
Initial pain is only to be expected but in the weeks afterwards he may well endure pain and difficulty walking.
If he’d had more serious effects from pressure on the spinal cord then he might have been unable to move his legs.
Considering the fracture was a centimetre away from his spine, Simon could have been very close to becoming paraplegic or even tetraplegic, where all limbs are paralysed.
He’ll undoubtedly need physio to help his recovery.
The Britain’s Got Talent final is also scheduled for later this year following the show’s postponement[/caption]
Simon Cowell was originally one of the judges on Pop Idol[/caption]
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]