A doctor who crashed a car, leaving a teenage girl paralysed, has kept his job after researching ways to help her recover.
David Rawaf had been driving Ekaterina Nuss home from a restaurant on 24 January last year when he hit a dip in the road and spun out of control, hitting trees and lampposts.
The 28-year-old had tried to accelerate his BMW away from a Mercedes at a set of traffic lights.
Nuss, who was 19 at the time, suffered severe spinal injuries and was temporarily paralysed from the waist down.
She was left with “life-changing injuries” is only now starting to take her first steps, with assistance, 17 months later.
Rawaf - who sustained minor injuries in the crash - was convicted in December of causing serious injury by dangerous driving but avoided jail, with a 16-month sentence suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for three years.
This week, the orthopaedics clinical and education fellow at the University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust faced being struck off for misconduct.
But a disciplinary panel, sitting in Manchester, imposed no sanction after hearing that he regularly visited Nuss and she had expressed no wish for him to be punished.
Rawaf had also begun research into spinal injuries, the hearing was told.
MailOnline quoted the victim’s sister, Valeria, as saying Nuss - known as Katia - had forgiven Rawaf, despite bouts of depression over being “stuck in a wheelchair and relying on others to wash and dress her”.
“She is not blaming him. It was an accident. But she’s very conflicted - David put her in the wheelchair, but he has also stuck around afterwards to help her,” she added.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service ruled that Rawaf was remorseful for his actions and did not want to “punish the doctor for a second time”.
Valeria said Rawaf had visited her sister, a former art student at Central Saint Martins, in hospital, helped with her physiotherapy and researched “cures for her, so she doesn’t hate him”.
Rawaf’s colleagues at Imperial College London healthcare trust, said he had been working with spinal injury experts on ways to help Nuss recover and had postponed a job opportunity in the US to spend time with her.
Paul Moulder, the tribunal chairman, said that Rawaf had taken “many steps to make amends”, providing daily support to Nuss, and had clearly been “deeply affected by the events of the night in question”.