A young man who underwent seven hours of brain surgery after a hit and run has had an emotional reunion with the medical student who helped save his life.
Lee Rose, 23, of Marlyon Road in Hainault, was left for dead by a driver who knocked him down in Leytonstone High Road in the early hours of Saturday, April 20.
The trainee rail worker’s heart stopped three times as he lay in the road and only the quick thinking of a passing medical student, Laura Falvey, 20, who gave him CPR and kept his airways clear, kept him alive.
But while Laura continued to help paramedics when they arrived, she did not leave her full name with anyone at the scene.
Lee’s family have been trying to track Laura down, but after her friends saw the story in the newspapers, Laura made her own way to the Royal London Hospital to meet Lee.
She said: “He was surprised to see me, but not as surprised as his mum Carol.
“She came up while we were talking and Lee introduced me – she did a double take and then just gave me a massive hug. It was quite emotional.”
Lee returned home yesterday and Laura visited him again.
He said: “She’s really nice and I think we will remain good friends.
“I owe her so much, she saved my life, there’s no doubt about it. When I’m recovered we are going to take her out for a meal to thank her for what she did.”
Doctors at the Royal London say they are amazed by Lee’s progress.
His heart stopped on two further occasions before brain surgery during which a quarter of his skull was removed.
Lee said: “The surgeon said he has never known anyone make such a good recovery after an operation as major as this.
“I’m still in some pain and I have had a few mood swings. The doctors have given me some leaflets to explain that.
“I don’t remember anything about being hit. The last thing I can remember is getting off a bus and then it’s a blank until I woke up in hospital two days later.
“I’m a Catholic and I feel someone up there was looking down on me, but Laura and the doctors at the hospital are the ones who I owe my life to.”
Laura said: “I said to Lee yesterday, ‘You’ll feel a little bit better every day now you are back home’
“It’s amazing that he’s out of hospital already.”
The duo were filmed by BBC news crews yesterday and Laura, who is in her second year studying medicine at Kings College, said they shared a joke about being on camera.
“We just looked at each other and laughed,” she said. “All the attention is a bit overwhelming.
“It’s true I helped save Lee’s life, but I would have done the same for anyone. It’s why I went into medicine.”
Police are appealing for information on the driver who knocked Lee down. The incident happened at a CCTV blind spot but recordings from local bus cameras are being analysed.
The car is described as a dark people carrier.