Former EastEnders star Sid Owen was left with a broken jaw and smashed teeth after a horrific golfing accident.
The actor, 48, needed extensive reconstructive surgery after he was hit in the face when a golf ball rebounded off a tree.
Owen, who is best known for playing Ricky Butcher on the BBC soap, told The Sun that doctors said he could have died if the ball had hit him just two inches higher up.
“One minute I’m playing a round and the next I’m in total agony and on my way to hospital,” he said.
“But actually I’ve almost been lucky because they’ve told me if it had hit me two inches higher up I’d probably be dead from that sort of impact.
“I was stood about ten feet away when it hit me, hard, and of course it hurt like hell, but it was the shock factor too.”
He recalled “seeing two teeth fly straight out of my mouth" and later found out that he had suffered “a fracture in my face and a broken jaw, along with another tooth embedded in my jaw.”
Owen was on holiday in Thailand at the time and was taken to hospital for emergency facial surgery.
“I had to have a bone graft, followed by several rounds of dental surgery because it was too much damage to try and treat it all at once,” he said.
He described his experience as “five weeks of hell, total hell” after heading to Thailand “for a detox to relax” during dry January.
The actor said he has undergone 15 hours of surgery so far and is awaiting the results of a brain scan. He has also lost “almost two stone” in weight because he has struggled to eat.
He added that he has been given a one week extension to his visa but “will have to go home soon.”