Paralyzed jouster in ‘good spirits’ a week after landing on his neck at N.O. festival


John McKeane, photo courtesy of Marcus Desmond

HAMMOND, La. (WGNO) — A freak accident at the Louisiana Renaissance Fest left a star performer paralyzed, but a week later, the fallen jouster is in good spirits, according to his jousting partner.

Marcus Desmond, partner of 26-year-old John McKeane, who took what was described as an “incredibly hard fall” on his neck Nov. 6 while jousting the Ren Fest in New Orleans.

The accident happened as McKeane and Desmond were doing their usual lance passes when tragedy struck on the final pass.

Desmond’s lance hit MdKeane in the guard but shot up into his buff (the part that protects the face.) The force of the blow lifted NcKeane up out of the saddle, Desmond said.

The incident happened around 4 p.m. in the second part of their show on opening day.

McKeane has been jousting for four years.

“We know the dangers associated with what we do and people have broken bones before but in the 30+ year history of this company, no one has ever broken their back or landed on their neck,” Desmond said.

Desmond believes McKeane’s positive attitude, which includes “even cracking jokes,” is a good sign.

Friends of McKeane have created a Gofundme account to help pay McKeane’s recovery expenses.

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