Man who lost memory in taxi crash at 19 gets flashbacks listening to 80s pop hit

A man who lost his memory after being knocked down by a taxi when he was 19 is now able to recall experiences from his youth after hearing 1980s hit The Whole of the Moon.

Thomas Leeds, 30, had been able to remember nothing that had happened to him following the accident, which happened when he was struck while crossing a road in north London.

He underwent emergency surgery for a blood clot on his brain after he landed on his head and when he woke up he did not know his family or remember the house he grew up in.

In the ten years since his accident, in which he has also had epilepsy, Mr Leeds revisited locations from his past and quizzed friends and family in an attempt to claw back some of his memories.

Nothing worked until he started to compile a 30th birthday playlist of the music he grew up with.

The night before his party, as he listened to it track-by-track through his headphones, he was suddenly plunged back into his childhood.

When he heard the opening bars of the song by Irish band The Waterboys it triggered six clear flashbacks of experiences he had in his early years.

“It was the most magical thing ever,” said Mr Leeds,who also developed prosopagnosia – face blindness – which meant he could not recognise anyone out of context, not even his parents or five siblings.

“It really changed everything for me,” he added. “It was so short, nothing was said, but knowing that it was real and I’ve got it in my head and it’s not just a story, and it’s not just a grainy photograph … it was a little bit of my beginning.

“Just knowing that I’ve got something real from before, from the beginning of my story, really helps me face the future.”