Country singer MICKEY GILLEY has been left paralysed from the neck down after suffering a near-fatal fall over the summer (09).
The Room Full of Roses star, 73, was helping a friend move house in Branson, Missouri in July (09) when he tripped backwards over a door frame and fell awkwardly on his back.
The accident caused permanent damage to his vertebrae and he has been confined to life in a wheelchair - but Gilley knows he is lucky to be alive after doctors feared he would never survive his injuries.
He tells the National Enquirer, "I hit the back of my neck and was unconscious for two days. When I awoke, I was in a complete panic because I couldn't move anything. I thought, 'Am I going to be like this for the rest of my life?'
"But I felt very fortunate to be alive. I was on the brink of death."
Gilley is slowly building up the strength in his arms and he's refusing to give up hope of making a return to music.
He adds, "My hands haven't completely come back, and I'm hoping that they will so I can play piano again.
"My goal (is) to get back on the road and performing again. I miss that more than anything else."
The actor says he isn't "holding out for more money or doing anything like that".
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