Xena star Lucy Lawless has appealed for donations from fans after an on-set accident left a beloved stunt woman with a serious brain injury.
New Zealand stunt woman Dayna Grant suffered an aneurysm and requires surgery at an estimated cost of £30,000, after an incident while working on a recent project.
Dayna, who has worked her stunt prowess on movies and TV shows including Wonder Woman 1984, the Amazon Lord Of The Rings TV series, Mad Max, and Xena: Warrior Princess, alongside Lucy, was sent for neuroimaging CT and MRI scans where it was found she’d suffered an 8mm aneurysm and upper spinal (neck) injuries.
According to a Give A Little fundraising page, surgeons recommend immediate surgery, with private medical care – to avoid a ‘potentially life-threatening delay in the public health system’ – estimated to cost $NZ60,000 (£30,300).
It is unclear what production Dayna was working on at the time of her injury.
According to Daily Mail, an Amazon Studious source confirmed that Danya had suffered a fall while working on Lord Of The Rings and suffered a mild concussion. However, it was added by the studio that doctors cleared her to return to work with the stunt woman working on ‘at least four other productions as well as running her weekend stunt school before she fell ill’.
Lucy, right, will match donations from fans for Dayna, pictured left (Picture: Twitter/Lucy Lawless)
Lucy, who starred as Xena in the titular iconic TV series which ran from 1995-2001, shared a series of messages on Twitter as she implored her followers to dig deep.
At time of writing, donations had surpassed the $60k goal with the figure totalling more than $70k.
The actress wrote on Monday: ‘Help me help our dear friend, Xena Stuntwoman, @Daynastunts get emergency brain surgery after head injury on set for an upcoming project. She has made actresses look cool on horseback and fighting on #WonderWoman, #MadMax, SnowWhite, #Xena, #AshvsEvilDead.’
The star added that she’ll match fan donations dollar for dollar: ‘For every Xena fan or #AshVsEvil Dead fan who donates, I will match you dollar for dollar till we get the job done. This woman deserves all the love. Put #XenaLove on your donation and I’ll match you!’
Insisting Dayna would get the emergency surgery ‘ASAP’, Lucy added a photo of the pair on set only two months ago, as they worked on My Life Is Murder Aotearoa.
Re-sharing a quote dedicated to Xena fans, Lucy added: ‘I want to send out love to all the Xena fans in the Universe. Your kindness will change the world.’
Responding to the outpouring of support, Dayna – who, according to her website, has acted as a stunt double for the likes of Charlize Theron, Tilda Swinton and Gwyneth Paltrow – was in tears as she shared a video on Tuesday morning.
‘Hi everyone, I just wanted to say this. I’m absolutely speechless with all the love and support from everyone all around the world.’ she said. ‘I can’t write it in a message, I just wanted to reply to all of you but I can’t. Thank you so much!’
Stunt performers put their bodies on the line for film and TV, with stars recently calling out the lack of recognition at awards ceremonies for their acts.
‘Imagine 10 of your favourite films,’ Mikal Kartvedt, a stuntman working in the industry since 1993, told Metro.co.uk. ‘Now imagine them without the hair-raising action. The same can be said for sound or costume or production design, except they have prime-time categories acknowledging their contributions.’
‘We are Superman when he’s super,’ he asserted. ‘We are Black Panther when he pounces, Wonder Woman when she’s wondrous and Machete when he chops. We are James Bond, after all, when he drives, dives and nearly dies.’