Student vows to complete studies after horror cycle crash left him needing emergency brain surgery


university student who required emergency brain surgery after a car pulled out from a side road as he cycled in west London has spoken of his determination to complete his studies.

Billy Draper-Barr, 21, suffered a traumatic brain injury as he was thrown onto the windscreen of the Mercedes C-class car before falling to the ground.

The Imperial College London undergraduate managed to pull himself to the side of the road and dialled 999 before losing consciousness.

He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington where he underwent an emergency craniotomy – the removal of part of the skull – to relieve a bleed on the brain.

Billy Draper-Barr after surgery at St Mary’s hospital / Irwin Mitchell

Mr Draper-Barr, who is studying mechanical engineering, had been cycling on North End Road in West Kensington on his way to a summer internship with a medical technology firm when the crash happened at around 8.15am on August 7 last year.

The Mercedes driver had pulled out of Mund Street. Mr Draper-Barr, who had been living in Hammersmith, spent almost two weeks in hospital before being discharged home to the family home in Worcestershire to be cared for by his parents.

He said: “All I can remember about the collision was suddenly seeing a car pulling out and then me coming off the bike and ending up on the ground.

“I’m not sure how but I managed to get to the roadside and dial 999, thinking it was important I stayed awake. The next thing I was in hospital hooked up to various machines.

“The last few months and attempting to come to terms with what happened has been difficult. Before the collision I was on top of my studies and was really enjoying my internship. But the last few months have been a lot harder, it takes a lot more planning to ensure that I don’t fall behind.

“I struggle to concentrate as much because I tire easily and sometimes struggle to find the words I want to say. Trying to catch up on my course has been difficult. I’ve attending lectures in person but I’ve also undertaken a lot of online learning.”

Recovering: Billy Draper-Barr / Irwin Mitchell


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