Actress Joanna Pettet's Agonizing Accident: 'Please Pray for Her'
Sixties and '70s actress Joanna Pettet — so famous in her day she was portrayed by Rumer Willis in 2019's "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" — has suffered an excruciating freak accident, and her suffering is far from over.
According to a woman who runs her official Facebook page, Pettet, 78, was searching for rocks for her garden in a remote area in Anza, California, when "the earth gave way" and she found herself pinned under a boulder!
"My phone rang," her friend recalled. "The caller ID said it was JO- But there was nobody on the line. This kept happening over and over for the next 2 hours. Until finally I could hear Jo's voice very faintly over the line. 'I can't move...'"
Pettet was able to tell her friend she was trapped — but where?
"Under ordinary circumstances one would immediately call an ambulance. But in this case- It was not possible. She was somewhere in the miles and miles of empty uninhabited land. I wasn't exactly sure where. But because I had been up there with her before- I assumed that from Temecula- I could probably figure out the approximate area. There were of course no street signs, but from indescribable landmarks- like a mud house or abandoned horse posts- I sort of knew where she liked to look for rocks."
Over an hour later, she found Pettet, who had spent three hours trapped.
The following day, Pettet had surgery to replace her shoulder and rotator cuff. Her friend described the major operation, noting, "The shoulder had dislocated so profusely that the large lump on the side of her back (Which we thought was a bruise from the accident) was in reality- Her rotator cuff. The humerus bone- which is the bone that runs from shoulder to elbow was so extensively shattered- in so many places- I was told that during the operation- The Doctors had to vacuum up the bone shards and fragments in order to see the extent of the damage, and determine how to complete the surgery."
After a short stay in a hospital, Pettet has been home for two weeks, but as her friend revealed, her suffering is lingering. "The truth is- She is in horrible agony. And has lost all feeling and mobility in her right hand. None of the pain medications which the doctors prescribe seem to bring her any relief. The physical therapist comes a few times a week- But with the swelling and her relentless excruciating pain she has- He is very limited in what he can do for her."
Dramatically, Pettet's friend urged followers, "If you believe in the power of prayer- Please pray for her. If you believe in the non existential universe- Please think positive thoughts for her. If nether of these apply- Just please join me in wishing for a quick, painless and complete recovery for Joanna."
The English actress, who retired over 30 years ago, appeared on Broadway and in such films as "The Group" in the '60s before becoming a TV-movie queen of the '70s.
Pettet's ex-husband, actor Alex Cord, died at 88 two weeks before her accident. Their son together, Pettet's only child Damien Cord, died after a heroin overdose in 1995.