“Chronicles of Narnia” actress Georgie Henley took to social media to explain the scarring on her arm, telling fans that she almost lost her limb after developing a rare flesh-eating bacteria infection.
“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,” Henley shared in the post.
The actress said she came close to losing her arm during her ordeal and was left with permanent scarring because of it.
“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 wrote. “It has taken me a long time to heal both physically and mentally but I hoped that one day there would be the right time to talk about what happened. Today is a start.”
The actress, who also starred in “The Spanish Princess,” said she hasn’t been able to discuss what happened until recently.
“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 a pocket,” Henley said of living with her scars.
“The industry I am part of often focuses on a very narrow idea of what is deemed aesthetic ‘perfection’, and I worried that my scars would prevent me from getting work. The truth is 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.”
Henley said that now she’s ready to share her experience and stop hiding. The actress continued, writing, “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.”
The CDC describes necrotizing fasciitis as “a rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly in the body and can cause death.” They say that “accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment, and prompt surgery are important to stopping this infection.”