Sam Humphrey, who starred in The Greatest Showman, is ‘fighting for his life’ as he prepares for a risky operation in Los Angeles.
Sam played Charles Stratton, aka General Tom Thumb, in the hit musical. He suffers from Crohn’s disease and skeletal dysplasia, also known as dwarfism, which affects bone and cartilage growth.
Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and the actor’s Crohn’s is reportedly made worse by his skeletal dysplasia.
According to TMZ, the 24-year-old, originally from New Zealand, has been in an LA hospital for the past few weeks receiving treatment, where he’s now preparing for an ‘extremely risky’ surgery.
Sam’s family released a statement confirming the news, which read:
He is currently under the care of some of the best doctors in the world at Cedars Sinai and is undergoing high-risk corrective surgery.
The Greatest Showman was Sam’s first big screen role, where his character was based on a real actor who lived in the 1800s. The actor has previously starred in several episodes of Australian soap Neighbours.
The 2017 musical, which also starred Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya, was nominated for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars.
The 4ft 2in tall actor was told by doctors earlier in life he would not live past the age of 18.
Speaking in the past to news.com.au, the actor revealed he’d considered suicide in the past.
Due to when I was young doctors saying they don’t know what my future holds and that it was unlikely I would live past my 18th birthday, I was feeling very hopeless and depressed.
I thought to myself, ‘What’s the point to this if I’m going to die in a few years? Why put it off?’ … I tried to kill myself a few times but the thought of what it would do to my family and friends was too much, and ultimately, I just couldn’t bring myself to end my life.
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?TGSPHOTOGRAPHY? – What a stunningly beautiful photo… This was such a beautiful scene to shoot – I love @zacefron he is incredibly multi-talented and an amazing actor, such an awesome guy – Hoping to work with him again on future projects ?❤️??? @greatestshowman @20thcenturyfox @nikotavernise @palpublicrelations . . . . . . #actor #australia #proudtobekiwi #moviestar #filming #acting #fun #mypassion #livingthedream #love #actorslife #followme #instagram #photooftheday #beautiful #bonded #zacefron #samhumphrey #makeup #amazing #costume #happy #tgsphotography #exciting #me #tomthumb #phillipcarlyle #20thcenturyfox #Thegreatestshowman
But I was struggling with these negative thoughts, [my] short stature, very little self-esteem and false confidence … I was dealing with a lot of negative thoughts in mind such as ‘you’ll never measure up to others’, ‘no one will ever truly love you’, ‘you’re not going to achieve anything because you’re too short’.
Thankfully, support from Sam’s family, along with his dreams to become an actor, helped him overcome his negative thoughts, and just months later, he received an invitation for an audition for a part in The Greatest Showman.
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?P.T. BARNUM & CHARLES STRATTON? HJ and me just standing around, chilling on set. It’s such a great photo, I love it – Side note Hugh is very radiant, majestic and tall; no wonder I always look up to him (just a short joke, double pun!! ??) But seriously he’s truly a legend!! Can’t wait to work with him again. Love ya @thehughjackman ??❤️??♂️ @greatestshowman @visualprostitute @historicrichmondtown @momentumagency @palpublicrelations . . . . . . #actor #losangeles #proudtobekiwi #moviestar #filming #acting #fun #mypassion #livingthedream #love #actorslife #followme #instagram #smile #makeup #costume #hughjackman #beautiful #photooftheday #happy #firstdayonset #exciting #me #tomthumb #20thcenturyfox #Thegreatestshowman
The actor said managing to break into the profession was a ‘dream come true’, and has since been posting images with his A-list co-stars on his social media accounts.
Sharing a picture with Australian Wolverine star, Hugh Jackman, Sam wrote:
Hugh is very radiant, majestic and tall; no wonder I always look up to him (just a short joke, double pun!!) But seriously he’s truly a legend!! Can’t wait to work with him again. [sic]
Hopefully Sam’s surgery will go well and he’ll make a fast recovery! Our thoughts are with Sam and his family at this difficult time.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.