Star Trek Actor Who Lost His Legs After Hit-and-Run Returns to Teaching Yoga 9 Weeks Later
Obi Ndefo is an actor who appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Drex, son of the Klingon leader Martok, in the episode "The Way of the Warrior." He later played Kelemane in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Blink of an Eye." In August, Ndefo was the victim of a hit-and-run by a suspected drunk driver. He was loading groceries into his parked car when the driver's car struck him, instantly severing his right leg. At the hospital, doctors were forced to amputate his left leg above the knee. But Ndefo isn't going to let the incident slow him down.
Doctors were surprised Ndefo, 47, survived the accident. He refused pain medication following his surgeries. He was back to performing yoga nine weeks later. He's featured in a new segment on Inside Edition where he discusses the experience and how it has changed his life.
"I wasn't going to let amputation to my legs stop me," Ndefo says. "It was horrible, but in some ways I was fine. It was a miracle."
Ndefo calls losing his legs, "an opportunity to keep working, to keep creating as an actor and a writer, and to find new opportunities and to hopefully be a beacon of light to others."
He also discussed his situation in a profile in The Los Angeles Times earlier this month. “It’s just like, if you can imagine, a locomotive or a train and in order for it to function you have to have these men shoveling coal, I have to shovel these tears out of me in order to make room,” he said.
“I couldn’t live in this world without becoming sort of like an Olympic athlete of certain things, you know — of kindness and of health — because there is no other choice for me,” he said. “So there’s a sort of rigor to me, and I think, ‘OK my legs are severed. I don’t know how to do this, but I know how to do this.”
In addition to his Star Trek work, Ndefo also appeared in Stargate SG-1 and was a series regular on Dawson's Creek. He also founded the nonprofit organization Arts Alliance for Humanity, which promotes arts education and programs. He teaches yoga at the Peace Yoga Gallery in Los Angeles. He launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to help him cover his medical costs, as well as purchase prosthetic legs and make adjustments to his home to make it more wheelchair accessible.