A MAN who survived a freak DIY accident when he sliced his neck open with an angle grinder has praised the doctors who saved his life.
Peter Shackleton, of Newcroft Close, Hillingdon, was horrifically injured while working in his conservatory.
The angle grinder broke and the blade ricocheted at high speed, hitting Mr Shackleton in the face and neck. The impact broke his jaw and cut deeply into his neck.
Losing blood fast, he was driven to A&E at nearby Hillingdon Hospital, in Pield Heath Road, by a friend.
Mr Shackleton said staff came 'from all directions to help me, applying pressure to my wound to stop the bleeding'.
An emergency trauma team, led by consultant Dr Chris Woollard, assessed Mr Shackleton's injuries and decided on the best treatment, and within an hour he was taken to an operating theatre.
The handyman was told later by doctors his injuries would almost certainly have been fatal had he not been treated so quickly and effectively.
"Everything happened so fast," he said. "All the staff exuded an air of speedy professionalism."
Mr Shackleton has praised the surgical team which put his face back together.
"I can already eat most things and drink from a cup without using a straw. My face is almost back to normal," he said.
"People are amazed that it has healed so quickly. Although I have a 'railway map' on my neck, I am physically fit and healthy.
"I do have some numbness but I feel improvements every day."
Now, two months after his accident, Mr Shackleton can move his neck well enough to drive his car, and he plans to walk 1,330 miles, from Dover to Durness, later this year for charity.
But will he be dabbling in DIY again? "I won't use the angle grinder again but I am fine with everything else," he said.
And he has praised the hard work of the staff at Hillingdon Hospital.
"Sometimes the NHS and hospitals get a bad press, but on a day to day basis they work very well - people are helped and lives are extended."