Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay opens up about terrifying injury she suffered on set

The Olivia Benson actress had to undergo multiple surgeries

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Mariska Hargitay once sustained an almost life-threatening injury while on set of the NBC drama.

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Back in 2008, when the show was on its ninth season, the Olivia Benson actress had to undergo surgery after sustaining a serious injury after a dangerous stunt went wrong. The 57-year-old star was involved in a stunt that involved "chasing a bad guy" when she jumped and landed in such a way that a microscopic bleed began in her lung.

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Recalling the experience, Mariska told Redbook in an interview: "I jumped and landed on pads, but on the second take something happened. I just landed wrong. I got up and felt that something inside was not quite right. At first, I thought I had the wind knocked out of me. I was angry with myself."

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She continued: "I didn't know for three months that something was really wrong. At first I seemed to get better. But then two weeks later I had chest pains and shortness of breath. My grandfather died of a heart attack at 34, and my mom died at the same age. At first I worried it was a heart attack. Then someone pointed out that my heart was on the other side!"

The star picked up another injury earlier this year

However, she was quickly rushed to hospital on New Year's Day in 2009 after she suddenly experienced a sharp pain in her chest, which she described as "sort of like someone had stabbed me".

"They took an X-ray and found that my right lung was 50 percent collapsed. I began to panic. I was so scared. I had a procedure hoping to stave off more serious surgery, but it didn't work, and I ended up in surgery about two weeks later."

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The actress ended up having to have surgery again after her lung collapsed for a second time three months later, which she said is "one out of 1,000, statistically". 

Fortunately, Mariska managed to make a full recovery after that and has since appeared in 14 more seasons of SVU, as well as the spinoff series Law and Order: Organized Crime, led by her old co-star Christopher Meloni.

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