A man has survived a brush with death after a nightmarish accident saw a steel rod impale his head.
Roof painter Michael Richard's miraculous survival was hanging in the balance when he fell from the ground floor roof of a two-storey home.
Michael tried to stand up after hitting the ground but struggled, before discovering he had landed on a steel bar that was sticking out of the ground which pierced through his neck and into the back of his skull.
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Co-workers acted quickly, using bolt cutters to free the rod from the ground, allowing the Texas roof painter to stand up with about 60cm of the rod still sticking out of his head, Yahoo News reports.
Doctors told him the rod was 'just millimetres' from his voice box, spinal cord and arteries, and paramedics said they had never seen anything like it.
One of the paramedics at the scene, Ashley Thomason, told 12NewsNow: "We can train for this all day long, it’s almost 20 years for me, and I’ve never seen anything like this and I probably never will again.
"The biggest thing was keeping him calm, stabilising his neck and just getting him to the closest trauma centre so they can take over from there."
Surgery to save the man was completed within an hour and he was then put on a liquid diet for two days.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Michael recover from his harrowing injury, as he has no medical insurance and is his family's only breadwinner.
On his page, he gratefully added: "The doctor said it was millimetres from severing several vital arteries and damaging my esophagus and voice box.
"The rebar did nick a minor jugular vein but the vascular surgeon was able to patch it right up."
After the terrifying accident, Michael is now urging everyone to make the most of each day.
"If you love someone tell them," he said.
"If you need to help someone or lift them up, do it. You never know how long you have sometimes just millimetres."
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