Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Young Dancer, Stunt Artist Fights for His Life & Career After Fall
By E. Mesiyah McGinnis, Staff Writer
Published August 31, 2017

Born with medical defects, doctors said Josh would not walk, talk, or live pass the age of 18. Instead, he became a miracle child, gifted with the physical abilities of a modern day super boy.  (Courtesy Photo)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Joshua Williams, age 22, was on his way to a promising stunt career, when a training exercise in Virginia went wrong, sending him to a 30 feet fall that nearly took his life and challenges his will to bounce back from the nearly tragic event.  Josh was in Williamsburg, VA, on June 11, at a rehearsal at Bush Gardens, when he fell. He was rushed to a local hospital for emergency vascular and orthopedic surgeries. “By the time, I got there, I realized his injuries were far more massive than what I thought,” said Josh’s mother, Angela Williams.

According to Ms. Williams, Josh’s injuries are extensive; he needs repair of the popliteal artery that was only partially repaired, a torn peroneal nerve; every part of the knee was torn, ACL, PCL, Meniscus, LCL, and torn tendons in the thigh and leg.  According to Mrs. Williams, early on, Josh’s prognosis was so bleak, that doctors in Virginia told her there was nothing left to do, and to possibly find a nursing home for Josh to live in there.  “We, in turn, had a medical airplane fly him back to California, where he was admitted into Cedar Sinai, said Mrs. Williams.

Josh was working as an up-and-coming stunt performer when he fell and sustained life-threatening injuries. (Courtesy Photo)

There, Josh received the medical attention that helped save his life and stabilized him.  He has had an orthopedic surgery and was told that he would need three or four more. Beyond his injuries, he still needs repair of the artery.  The challenges are complex with Josh needing cardiovascular, neurological, and orthopedic surgeries. But according to Williams, surgeons must prioritize the surgeries by addressing the cardio vascular first; making sure the artery is stabilized and can endure the other surgeries.  “He could still lose his leg without blood flow to the limb, said Williams.

According to Williams, Dr. Michael Shepard in Orange County is known to have the expertise needed to help repair Josh’s leg. “Some doctors are great at just the ACL or meniscus but it takes a specialized doctor to take a leg, foot, and knee that doesn’t work, and put the person back into their original state, before the injury every happened. “Dr. Shepard sent me an email stating that he is willing to take in Joshua’s case but we need to raise the money,” said Williams.

Joshua Williams recovers in the hospital after falling three stories during a stunt rehearsal. His injuries were life threatening. He is stable now but he seeks help to cover the medical expenses for past surgeries the future procedures needed to save his leg.
(Courtesy Photo)

The super kid is no stranger to overcoming adversity. Williams says Josh was born with food going into his lungs. The food took a toll on his lungs, which were severely damaged. “Doctors said Joshua wouldn’t walk or talk, be potty trained, or play sports. He was also diagnosed with autism, said Williams.’  Williams says she was devastated but decided to push and see how far God would take her son. “With his condition, the doctor said he would hopefully live to be 18. But I knew God would hear my prayers, and the God I know of miracles, had one more for my son,” said Williams.

Not only did Joshua defy every diagnosis from doctors, Instead, he became a miracle child , developing the physical characteristics of a modern day super boy.  Since age 11, Josh has trained as a dancer at Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Dimitri Kulev, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and Southland Ballet. He has performed with Busta Rimes, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and ballet shows with Festival Ballet Company. His stunt work includes Universal Studios, Disney, Wildest stunt show, and Pirate Dinner Adventure Stunt Show.

Joshua shows his incredible physicality as a dancer in a Kwanzaa performance at Lula Washington Dance Theatre called, “Rites of Passage,” choreographed by dance instructor, Ken Morris. (Photo E. Mesiyah McGinnis LWDT Media Archivist-in-Residence)

Josh has performed for the homeless in the streets of LA.  “He has taught hip-hop to the youth in the community. He gave hope that a little Black boy would make a difference and be a role model in the community by beating the odds, said Williams. “This is a kid who stayed on the right path, through the adversity of being raised by a single mother. He made it only to have this tragedy strike.”


Because workman’s compensation won’t pay for the specialized doctors, the medical fees are astronomical, with costs ranging from $25,000 dollars and up. “At this time, we have raised $6,900 dollars. Just having the proper leg brace costs $1000, but we are driven to raise the money because time is of the essence,” said Williams.  She says the longer it takes for surgery to be done, the more likely Josh will never dance or do stunts again.  “We are asking donors to help pay for the surgeries or if someone can match funds. We are desperate for this to happen,” said Williams

Joshua Williams (left) credits his belief in God and the unwavering support and love from his mother, Angela Williams, family and friends, as he vows to rehabilitate and perform on stage again. (Courtesy Photo)

Joshua Williams was told to go off to a nursing home and die there, after he fell three stories doing stunt work. With prayer and unwavering support from his Mom, Angela, he is well on his way back. Josh is family and we are here to help,” said Erwin Washington, executive director, LWDT.

Lula Washington Dance Theatre hosted a fundraiser in their Studio A blackbox venue, where local artists, family and friends, performed and came out to support Josh’s surgeries and family’s needs. (Photo E. Mesiyah McGinnis)

The lowest part for Josh was when doctors told him his leg might not be saved.  Josh says he wept, but shook it off and leaned on his faith.  “I never looked at this as a negative, because know how to fight for what I believe in. I want to people to believe in me because I will come back and continue to help people along my journey.  Today, I am in a wheelchair but as soon as God and the doctor’s fix me, I will be back, flying high in my shows.  This is just another obstacle and I will rise above it, Josh said.

Joshua shows his versitility as a stunt artist, as he works on set as a fire-breather, in Hollywood, CA.  The Williams family is seeking help in saving Josh leg and performing career. (Courtesy Photo)

To help learn more about Josh or to help, please visit the link.   Click here to support Stunt/Dancer Josh Needs Your Help organized by Angela Williams



Categories: Local | News | News (Entertainment) | News (Family)
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