Chronicles of Narnia star Georgie Henley has revealed numerous scars on her arm and left hand from a ‘rare and punishing’ infection she contracted nearly a decade ago while she was was in college.
The 27-year-old British actress shot to fame as a child after starring as Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles Of Narnia film series.
In a powerful Instagram post, Henley spoke candidly about her experience with the infection, which nearly led to her left arm being amputated for the first time.
Alongside an image of herself, in which her left arm is clearly visible, Henley wrote: ‘When I was eighteen and in my sixth week of college I contracted necrotizing fasciitis , a rare and punishing infection that nearly claimed my life and wreaked havoc throughout my body. In order to save my left hand and arm from being amputated, I underwent grueling invasive surgery and then extensive reconstructive surgery that resulted in a series of skin grafts and scarring.
“It took me a long time to heal both physically and mentally, but I was hoping that one day it would be the right time to talk about what happened. Today is a start.
“For the past nine years, I’ve been open about my scars in my personal life, but I’ve hidden them entirely in any professional context: wearing bandages or blankets, makeup on set and on stage, long sleeves whenever I could be photographed, pants so I could put my hand in a pocket.
“The industry I’m in often focuses on a very narrow idea of what is considered aesthetic ‘perfection’, and I was concerned that my scars would keep me from finding work. The truth is, “perfection” doesn’t exist, but I’ve always lived with the shame of feeling different, heightened by the expectations of starting my career at a young age.
“But my scars aren’t something I’m ashamed of. They’re a map of the pain my body has endured, and more importantly a reminder of my survival. They don’t affect my acting ability and I’m proud to be a person who has visible scars in this industry.
She then thanked Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and her friends and family for their support, as well as her agents and former employers.
Henley studied English Literature at Clare College, University of Cambridge, during which time she performed in a number of stage shows.
Henley added: “I’m sure I’ll talk more about my experiences in the future, but today I’m just happy to feel, for the first time in a very long time, finally free.”
The post received an influx of positive comments, including some from famous faces in the film industry.
Crown star Emma Corrin wrote: ‘Love you geo’ followed by a red heart emoji.
While Henley’s The Spanish Princess co-star Nadia Parkes added, “So proud of you. You are amazing. Love you xxxx.
According to the NHS, necrotizing fasciitis, also known as ‘flesh-eating disease’, is a rare and life-threatening infection that can occur if a wound becomes infected.
The infection should be treated immediately in hospital and treatment may include amputation to remove the affected area.