Four Circus Performers Remain in Serious Condition

It will take several months to at least a year for some of the nine performers who were injured in Sunday’s circus show accident to return to the ring, physicians at Rhode Island Hospital who cared for the injured said Wednesday.

Rhode Island Hospital, which received all nine of the injured on Sunday, is a Level I Trauma Center. It is constantly staffed to provide comprehensive care in emergency cases.

“Rhode Island Hospital is always prepared for the type of accident that happened Sunday,” Dr. Timothy Babineau, president of Rhode Hospital said Wednesday. “I have heard countless stories regarding the courage, the positive attitude, and the strong desire to get better quickly.”

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One of the injured performers refused to take pain medication because she did not want it to interfere with her stretch routine, Babineau said.

“They obviously love their work and they are determined to heal as quickly as possible to get back to work.”

The acrobats were performing a “human chandelier” during the hair hang act when a metal carabiner snapped causing the apparatus and the performers attached to it to fall, Rhode Island public safety officials said Monday.

The injured, eight women and one man, were all conscious when they were transported to the hospital. Doctors performed 17 operations on eight of the patients. Two of the patients had spinal cord injuries and have not been able to move, the doctors said.

As of Wednesday, two have since been released from the hospital. Four remain in serious condition, while three are in good condition, said Babineau.

“While we did great things,” Dr. David Harrington, a trauma surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital said, “the fact is this is what we do everyday.”

Samantha Pitard, one of the injured who was released from the hospital Tuesday, told ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday that she has always felt safe performing the hair hanging act.

“For now, it’ll be a while and it’s not sure if any of us will be doing hair again,” Pitard told Good Morning America. “I will, eventually, not sure when yet, go back to the show.”