Celebrated British author and playwright Hanif Kureishi has said he is in hospital unable to move his arms or legs, after suffering a fall in Rome.
Kureishi, 68, who is best known for works such as The Mother and The Buddha Of Suburbia, wrote on Twitter he is being treated at the Gemelli University Hospital in the Italian capital.
He explained he was in Rome on Boxing Day, and fell while on a walk from Piazza del Popolo to Villa Borghese and then back to his flat.
Kureishi said: “I had just seen Mo Salah score against Aston Villa, sipped half a beer, when I began to feel dizzy.
“I lent forward and put my head between my legs; I woke up a few minutes later in a pool of blood, my neck in a grotesquely twisted position, my wife on her knees beside me.”
Kureishi said he saw “a scooped, semicircular object with talons attached scuttling towards me” before realising it was his hand.
He added: “It occurred to me then that there was no co-ordination between what was left of my mind and what remained of my body. I had become divorced from myself. I believed I was dying. I believed I had three breaths left.”
The author also said his wife heard his “frantic shouting”, and that “she saved my life and kept me calm.
“For a few days I was profoundly traumatised, altered and unrecognisable to myself. I am in the hospital. I cannot move my arms and legs.”
He continued: “I cannot scratch my nose, make a phone call or feed myself. As you can imagine, this is both humiliating, degrading and a burden for others.
“I’ve had an operation on my spine and have shown minor improvements in the last few days.”
Kureishi said he has “sensation and some movement” and will soon begin physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
He added: “At the moment, it is unclear whether I will ever be able to walk again, or whether I’ll ever be able to hold a pen, if there is any assistance that I would be grateful for, it would be with regard to voice assisted hardware and software, which will allow me to watch, write -and begin work again, and continue some kind of half life.”
Kureishi is known for taking on difficult and taboo subjects in his work, particularly around relationships and minority groups.
He won a New York City Film Critics Circle Award for the film My Beautiful Laundrette about a gay British Pakistani in the 1980s, as well as an Oscar nomination for original screenplay.
The Buddha Of Suburbia in 1990, a semi-autobiographical piece of work which was about a bisexual British South Asian character, was adapted for a BBC television series, sound tracked by David Bowie
In 2008, he was made a CBE, and sold his entire archive to the British Library in 2014, including his personal diaries and notebooks, as well as the working material for his major projects.