‘America’s Got Talent: Extreme’: Jonathan Goodwin Opens Up About Accident That Left Him Paralyzed

by Leanne Stahulak

Earlier this week, stuntman Jonathan Goodwin revealed that a stunt gone wrong for the show “America’s Got Talent: Extreme” has left him paralyzed.

Back in October of 2021, Jonathan Goodwin rehearsed for “America’s Got Talent: Extreme” at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia. His stunt involved two cars hanging on either side of him while he swung 70 feet in the air, trapped in a straitjacket.

Goodwin’s objective was to get out of the straitjacket and drop to a safety mattress below. Before the two cars swung into him, that is. But the cars were released early, crashing into Goodwin and each other. The cars exploded on impact, catching fire, and Goodwin dropped to the ground. According to the 911 call, Goodwin missed the safety mattress and landed on his head.

The “America’s Got Talent” star spent four months in the hospital, and earlier this week, Jonathan Goodwin revealed that he was now paralyzed from the waist down. Per Entertainment Tonight, Goodwin opened up about his experience in his first TV interview.

“I don’t really have a great memory …I know that there was a moment where I knew it was going wrong,” Goodwin told Good Morning America of the failed stunt.

Goodwin ended up losing a kidney, shattering both his legs, breaking both shoulder blades, puncturing a lung, fracturing ribs, and fracturing his spinal cord.

“The spinal surgeon said that my injury was the worst that he’d ever seen. [He] also told me that there was a really good chance I wouldn’t make it through the surgery,” Goodwin explained.

Through it all, the stuntman’s fiancée, Amanda Abbington, has cared for him and helped him through his recovery.

“Amanda has been there for me every day since. And has been and was really my motivation to get through it,” Goodwin revealed.

‘America’s Got Talent: Extreme’ Star Jonathan Goodwin Describes What It’s Like to Be Paralyzed

“America’s Got Talent: Extreme” star Jonathan Goodwin nearly died twice in the last six months. But he’s survived against all odds and intends to keep on living. Even as he adjusts to living his life paralyzed from the waist down and predominantly spending time in a wheelchair.

“The closest thing that I can explain is that it’s like somebody waves a magic wand and all of a sudden you’re a baby. And you have to learn everything you know,” Goodwin said of becoming paralyzed.

But he already has new plans for his future. Goodwin hopes to become an advocate and role model for others who have gone through a similar experience.

“I think that the people that have disabilities are largely underrepresented in the media. If I can use that position to be able to help other people — then I will,” he expressed. “Obviously there are lots of things that I have lost. But I’m not concentrating on that. For me, it was about creating a spectacle for an audience, showing people things that they’d never seen before. And that’s absolutely something I can still do. Maybe in a different form.”