A skateboarder was left critically injured in a road crash after failing to hear an approaching electric Uber Prius minicab.
Theo Fallstrom, 24, suffered a brain haemorrhage, broken left shoulder and damaged right ear in the collision with the Uber hybrid Toyota Prius in Mayfair.
But he was saved by medics from London Ambulance Service and London Air Ambulance who arrived in minutes.
Today his mother called air ambulance medics “the SAS of first responders”.
Mr Fallstrom had been skating home at around midnight in Albemarle Street and had been unable to hear the car, powered by its quiet electric motor.
LAS was on the scene in three minutes, followed by an air ambulance fast- response car, four minutes later. Its medics Dr David Cooper and paramedic Rob Twitchen put Mr Fallstrom in an induced coma to protect his brain and he was taken to the major trauma centre at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
He spent about three weeks in a coma and more than a month of rehabilitation at Wellington Hospital, St John’s Wood, where he had to relearn to talk and walk. His mother Leonie, from Holland Park, told his story at London Air Ambulance summer gala last week.
After the accident on August 20 last year, Mr Fallstrom was bleeding from his ear, flailing around and punching out due to the brain damage. Ms Fallstrom said: “He didn’t hear the electric Prius. The driver on his way to collect a fare didn’t see him.” Describing the effect on the windscreen of him slamming into it she added: “Theo hit with such force he scored a bullseye.
“He needed to be put in a coma, and fast. [The medics] called for silence and performed the complex task. London’s Air Ambulance are the SAS of first responders. These absolutely incredible people and their speed and expertise.”
Theo, a chef at Daylesford organic shop in Marylebone, cannot remember the accident. It was regarded as a “no fault collision”. Theo said: “I feel put back together. If it wasn’t for their speed and skill I wouldn’t be here or quite possibly not able to speak or walk.” It costs £8 million a year to keep LAA’s two helicopters and fleet of fast cars in operation and most is raised from donations.