Published: 09:20, 01 August 2021
| Updated: 12:59, 01 August 2021
Circus bosses have appealed to the public not to share horror footage of performer Megan Christian on social media.
The show had to be cancelled and the shocked audience sent home.
On Friday the circus announced that all performances would "continue as billed".
A message on its Facebook page said: "The tragic accident of our highly trained aerialist Megan, falling during her routine in last night's performance, has left us all shaken and saddened.
"She is currently awaiting treatment for her injuries at hospital. We will have further updates on her condition when we know but our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family."
It added: "We would also like to ask in respect for Megan that any images or videos of her accident not be shared to social media."
Megan, 20, was taken to King's College Hospital, London, where she has undergone an operation on her neck.
The circus Facebook post went on: "She has been, and still is, a very important member of our team and family. We are hoping she can get back to us as soon as she can.
"We would like to thank you all, on her behalf, who have sent her best wishes. We will show them to her when she returns. Everyone here at Santus Circus is wishing her a speedy recovery so she can return to what she loves doing - performing."
Santus spokesman Chris Barltrop defended the lack of a harness or safety net. He said: "Safety nets and safety lunges are not always appropriate. If a performer is leaving contact with the trapeze to fly through the air, they would use a safety device.
"But in normal circumstances on a static trapeze, it would actually handicap the performer. As with many sports, there's risk. But although any such events naturally make headlines, accidents are rare in circuses."
Ruby Santus talks about her friend Megan Christian
This morning her close friend and fellow circus performer Ruby Santus, 26, said: "Megan is doing really well and is feeling very positive. She is such a strong girl. But her family has asked people to respect their privacy. They just want to concentrate on Megan getting better."
She added: "I have known Meg for ages, since she was a baby. She's like a little sister to me. She has always visited the circus and has been working for us for about three years."
Megan lives in Sittingbourne and studied art and design at Mid Kent College. She is from a long line of circus performers. Her grandfather was a ringmaster.
Ruby added: "We miss Meg, she is such a big part of the show. We will be waiting here with open arms when she is ready to come back.
"People come to see the show because we are risking our lives every day. It's live entertainment. Of course we take precautions but accidents do happen. It seems Megan just lost her footing. "
Megan's uncle is Carlos Christian who runs Smith's Family Funfair which is also currently on the Island at Leysdown.
The final show at Barton's Point Coastal Park, Sheerness, is the 3pm performance today (Sunday) before the circus moves to Whitstable.