Silent Witness star opens up on tragic childhood thinking she was ‘going to die’

Silent Witness actress Liz Carr has admitted that her childhood was “miserable” after she became disabled at the age of seven-years-old.

The television star was diagnosed with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and had to use a wheelchair when she turned 14. Speaking to Big Issue, Liz said that “kids were scared of her” and that she was led to believe that she “didn’t have a chance in life”.

She said: “I was quite ill as a teen, so I only went part time to school. Every holiday I went to Wexham Park Hospital. And most evenings and weekends were doing physio. It was miserable, because I was told repeatedly that I couldn’t be any of the things I want to be.”

Liz also admitted that during lockdown she often spoke to her mother every evening on the phone and re-call some harrowing moments from her childhood.

“She’d go through old diaries and call with the most harrowing bits. It would be, “What did you have for your tea? Did you know you wanted to die when you were 12?”” she said.

“Now, I knew I was miserable but to say I’d rather be dead? It hurts me to hear that my younger self didn’t see a future. I would love to tell her you’ll fall in love, have mates, travel the world and do a job people can only dream of. She wouldn’t have believed any of it.”

Liz also shared that she didn’t think that she would live to be old. She added: “I thought I was going to die as a teenager. I thought I was going to die as a 20-year-old. Then I thought I would die by 30.

“So I’d love to tell my younger self that she won’t die young – because I’ve wasted a lot of my life worrying needlessly. And there’s a lot of things we do need to worry about.”

Liz is known for playing the role of forensic examiner Clarissa on the BBC drama Silent Witness. She is also a international disability rights activist and a comedian.

She bagged the role at the age of 40, which lasted for seven years. Previously she worked as a volunteer at a law centre and travelled the world in her 20s.

Liz also won an Olivier award for her role in the stage production of The Normal Heart.

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