Man who survived 60mph crash thanks London’s Air Ambulance

On July 20, 2017, Rory, 26, was walking home in Clapham, south London, when a car mounted the pavement at 60mph and hit him from behind, throwing him 30ft into the road.

The car continued speeding down the road, leaving Rory almost lifeless.

By chance, Dr Matt Mak, who is now one of London’s Air Ambulance’s consultants, was walking to lunch and witnessed the accident.

Matt immediately dialled 999 and specifically requested London’s Air Ambulance’s advanced trauma team as he was aware of the severity of Rory’s injuries.

Matt said: “It was horrific to see – almost as if time slowed down as the car mounted the pavement and threw him into the road.

“I actually felt helpless as I didn’t have any kit with me that I’d normally have, so all I could do was support his airway and keep his spine stable while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

“The aircraft was overhead within minutes and it was a relief to see the HEMS (helicopter emergency medical service) team because I could tell he was critically injured.”

Rory said: “I was walking along a road in Clapham but I had my headphones in, so I didn’t hear anything before I was hit.

“I had broken pretty much my whole body.

“It was a really painful time.

“I don’t remember a lot as I was sedated often, but I remember the pain.

“My cognitive ability was not good and I suffered from amnesia for quite a while, but luckily I came out of it.”

Once his mental abilities had returned, Rory then began to focus on his physical recovery.

He added: “Physically it was quite the journey. I had appointments and rehab for almost every part of the body.”

“I am doing well, but I’m not the same person I was – I never will be – and that’s quite hard to accept.

“But I’m doing better at accepting my weaknesses.”

One of Rory’s legs is now shorter than the other, meaning he has a slight limp if he is not using a heel raise.

He also suffers from random bouts of aching in his shoulders and arms, due to his previously broken shoulder blade.

He added: “My memory isn’t always the best, but my issues are manageable and I’m working on them.

“I know I’m pretty lucky.”

Rory’s injuries included compound fractures – when there is an open wound at the site of the broken bone – to his left femur and right humerus, and a fractured vertebra.

He was also suffering from flail chest, which is when a portion of the rib cage is separated from the rest of the chest wall.

Rory’s jaw was so damaged he later required need to have the joints between the lower jaw and the base of his skull replaced with custom-made prosthetic joints.

Rory had also hit his head badly, which resulted in a brain bleed. Luckily this resolved itself without surgery.

The extent of his injuries meant Rory remained sedated in intensive care for two weeks, which was followed by three months in hospital.

Rory now lives in south east London with his dog, and is engaged to be married to his partner Andy in February.

Following a proposal in Wales, they are heading to New Zealand for their wedding.

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