A man from Morley cheated death by millimetres when he accidently plunged a pickaxe into his head - and then caught a bus to hospital.
Sheldon Mpofu was busy gardening, using the tool to turn over soil, when the pickaxe flew into his forehead, just missing his brain.
He had been preparing his garden for laying turf when he swung the pickaxe but the tool caught on a washing line and recoiled, hitting him in the head.
With blood pouring from the wound he called the non-emergency 111 number for advice.
Staff told him an ambulance was not necessary but he should go to hospital within an hour, so he bandaged the wound himself and took a bus to St James’s Hospital.
There he discovered he had a hole in his skull and was told that if the pickaxe had touched his brain, the injury would have proved fatal.
Mr Mpofu said: “It still amazes me. We are short of miracles. I’m a Christian and I want to let people out there know that miracles can happen.”
Medics did not initially realise the severity of his injury but an X-ray and CT scan revealed how far the tool had penetrated his head.
“The doctor said ‘do you realise how lucky you are?’”
Mr Mpofu was then transferred to Leeds General Infirmary by ambulance, where specialists in the field are based.
A string of doctors came to see him after hearing about his unbelievable escape.
“They told me I was a celebrity round the hospital,” said Mr Mpofu.
The 37-year-old had five stitches under local anaesthetic and was kept in overnight, given antibiotics and a tetanus injection.
His wound is now healing well, though he has been suffering from headaches, but he does not need an operation.
He said it wasn’t until he returned home that the seriousness of the incident sunk in.
“I feel like I’ve had a second lease of life. It’s made me value life because anything can happen,” added Mr Mpofu.
But the freak accident hasn’t scared off Mr Mpofu from using the pickaxe again. He just said that next time he would use it with a little more caution.