Man who nearly died after falling from balcony runs marathon one year on

When Sam Kean slipped and fell 70ft from a top floor balcony, doctors at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, gave him little chance of survival.

His list of injuries included a fractured pelvis, heel, jaw, thigh, both elbows and three ribs, as well as punctured lungs, internal bleeding and swelling of the brain.

But with the one-year anniversary of the accident coming up next week, the 21-year-old is now planning to run 26.2 miles to raise money for the hospital which saved his life.

It was raining on May 7 last year when Mr Kean slipped from the balcony of a friend’s home in Brewer Street and landed five floors below on the pavement.

The next thing he remembered was waking up exactly three weeks later.

“I was in an induced coma,” he said. “The worst thing was my brain was bleeding, which can cause brain damage.

“So the first thing they did when I got to hospital was put a valve into my skull to relieve the pressure.

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“My family and friends went through a lot more than I did. I woke up and was OK, but they had to sit through three weeks of not knowing what would happen.

“I don’t remember anything of the accident or anything from about two to three weeks beforehand, so everything is just what people tell me.”

After six weeks at St Mary’s, Mr Kean moved to Queen’s Hospital, Romford, nearer his home in Auckland Road, Ilford, before he was discharged on July 11 – nine weeks after the fall.

He returned to work as an accounts assistant in October.

Having had a tattoo inked on his wrist reading – If found please return to St Mary’s – Mr Kean is preparing to run the Belfast Marathon on Monday to raise cash for the hospital’s intensive care unit.

“It seemed like a symbolic thing to do and a way to put it all behind me while raising a bit of money,” he said.

“It has still not sunk in how close I was to dying and I don’t wish it on anyone, but I have learned so much in the past year.

“I feel like the hospital put me back together and gave me another chance.”

Andrew Hartle, Mr Kean’s consultant at St Mary’s, said: “His injuries were some of the worst we have seen.

“Sam is in the group of people who might not have survived, but we are delighted that he has recovered so well.

“It’s quite astonishing that he is running a marathon.”

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