London: Roy Curtis, 25, suffered horrific injuries after his car smashed into a lorry before six cars ploughed into the side during torrential rain on a busy motorway.
Actor Matthew McConaughey
Firefighters battled to free the barber from the wreckage for 40 minutes at the scene on the M42 in Tamworth, Staffordshire, before he was airlifted to hospital.
Doctors discovered he had suffered a multifocal intracranial brain haemorrhage, which meant his blood vessels had burst and blood was leaking into his brain.
The promising semi-pro footballer remained in a coma at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for six days while medics battled round the clock to save his life.
Incredibly, when he finally came round Curtis started speaking to nurses in fluent French — despite not studying the language since school.
He had also convinced himself he was Hollywood A-list actor Matthew McConaughey.
Curtis from Redditch, Worcester says it was incredible. “It’s quite bizarre to say the least. I can’t explain how it happened. My family said one of the nurses was from Africa and spoke French and I was having conversations with her. My mum and dad were stunned when they got to hospital and the nurse asked them what side of the family was French. I wasn’t really that good at it at school, so I don’t know how my brain has managed to do what it has.”
Curtis also described the moment he looked in the mirror and saw someone else looking back at him.
“I didn’t know what I was looking at. Then slowly over time it eventually clicked and I thought ‘he is an actor, what am I on about?’ But at times I was in hospital thinking I can’t wait to get out of here and back to filming movies. I was convinced I was him and that I had his good looks as well — I know it was hopeful thinking.”
Curtis made a miraculous recovery after becoming the second person in Britain to undergo a drug treatment after he was approached by the National Institute for Health Research Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre.
Just two months after the devastating crash in August 2012, Curtis was allowed home where he faced months of rehab. He has now retrained as a barber and is learning to teach hairdressing in Birmingham.