A man who almost lost his life after being hit by a car in west London has now qualified as a doctor and will work in the hospital where he was treated.
Matt, who was 22 at the time, was walking to have dinner with friends in west Kensington back on November 23, 2016 when a car failed to follow a bend in the road and hit him.
As the driver ploughed into the group of young men, Matt hit the windscreen and landed on the side of the road.
A passer-by called for an ambulance and London Air Ambulance’s advanced trauma team was dispatched.
London Air Ambulance’s Dr Flora Bird was at the scene of the crash.
She said: “I found him (Matt) unconscious with evidence of a significant head injury.
“He had a suspected skull fracture and likely an intercranial bleed, which is absolutely time critical.
“He likely had rib fractures and a lung injury, as well as a right femur fracture.
“We did a series of interventions and supported his airway. We put him to sleep and gave him an anesthetic.
“We breathed for him and decompressed his chest on both sides to optimise his ventilation and lung expansion, and removed any excess blood or air from his chest.
Newsquest London appeal London Air Ambulance medics perform life-saving treatment for patients who are critically injured with life-threatening or life-changing injuries. But the charity is up against time to replace its fleet of helicopters by next year and needs your support. Click here to donate to the appeal.
“Given how unconscious he was, how unwell he was so rapidly after injury, he was a patient that I genuinely didn’t think would survive and I was significantly concerned that he would die from a massive head injury.
“Everything that we did, we did as rapidly as we possibly could.”
Matt was taken to St Mary’s Hospital, where Dr Flora Bird handed him over to a neurosurgical team.
He underwent tests and was rushed into emergency brain surgery, following which he taken to the ICU.
Matt underwent two CT scans, the second of which showed the right side of his brain starting to cone.
This is when pressure forces the brain through a small opening at the base of the skull onto the spinal cord: a serious life-threatening complication.
Matt was rushed into emergency surgery to open his skull and relieve the pressure, following which he was taken straight to ICU.
He was in a coma for six weeks at St Mary’s before being transferred to Charing Cross Hospital’s neurorehabilitation unit where he was eventually discharged.
Matt is still living with some repercussions from the accident, including being more emotional, less confident and having fixed thinking.
He said: “I am different for life, but I’m alright. I’m working on my weaknesses, but I’ve also gained so much, I’ve learnt so much about myself.
“Until someone tells me that I can’t do it, I’m just going to keep on going.
“The air ambulance team saved my life, they gave me a second chance.
“Dr Bird is an inspiration and without doubt one of the most compassionate doctors I have had the pleasure of meeting.
“She makes saving lives look effortless.
“The fact that London’s Air Ambulance is a charity is insane.
“They save lives for free, and I will forever be grateful.”