Australian cabaret star Hans will be airlifted to a London hospital for surgery after falling 4 meters while performing on a cruise ship off the coast of Turkey last week.
- Matt Gilbertson suffered serious foot injuries and spinal damage
- He fell off stage while playing Hans on a European cruise ship
- He is expected to undergo surgery at a private hospital in London
The Adelaide artist, real name Matt Gilbertson, was touring with Atlantis Events when he fell from the stage into an orchestra pit, suffering spinal and foot injuries.
His manager, David Wilson, told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning that Gilbertson remains hospitalized in Turkey.
“What we’re trying to do is get him air ambulanceed out of Turkey and into London, where he can get the treatment and surgery he needs,” he said.
“It’s a very delicate operation, a very complicated type of operation, the injuries he suffered that we know at the moment… is that it’s a broken foot and ankle. and a number of… spinal fractures.”
Mr Wilson said it was a complicated process to arrange the transfer, including the cooperation of travel insurance companies and medical authorities.
“The treating doctor in Turkey must sign that he is fit to fly and that there will be no complications while he is in a jet for several hours at altitude and the receiving doctor must sign and confirm that he will accept the patient when they arrive and place them directly there,” he said.
At this point, Gilbertson is expected to be flown to London on Wednesday morning straight to a private hospital.
“They have already identified the surgeon who will be looking after him and he is very experienced and very well respected and for that we are very grateful to them,” Mr Wilson said.
“We could organize the operation in Turkey, although he might have to be transferred to Istanbul, but the disadvantage is obviously after the operation, you have to stay where you are for several weeks to recover and recover and fly don’t would not be an option.
“That means he would be essentially alone during this recovery period in a town where he has no support and in a town where English is not the first language.”
Mr Wilson said Gilbertson had a good social network of friends who could visit and support him in London.
He said he communicates regularly with the artist.
“He always makes me laugh… there are phone calls where he talks through gritted teeth in pain and it’s very ‘an eighty’ and other times he’s a bit more upbeat where maybe he may have just been freshly medicated and he’s a little more relaxed.”
Hans has been a popular face at Adelaide Fringe and gained international fame after appearing on America’s Got Talent in 2018.
His agency, Watercooler Talent, released a statement on Saturday saying Hans “unfortunately had to step down” from his main act at the Broken Heel Festival in Broken Hill next month.
“Upcoming shows are currently on hold until we have a better idea of my recovery plan,” Hans posted on his own social media.
“I want to thank everyone in the audience on Thursday night for being so understanding when this happened and to those who have already sent very kind messages of support.”