I'm afraid I had no spiritual awakenings or feelings of the profound. I'll just tell it as it was. On the night of 16th March 2007 I was attacked by my stepson (who is schizophrenic) while asleep in bed with my wife. He entered the room, awoke us with a shout and approached with speed and purpose. He pinned me down and began hitting me and then my wife as she tired to make her escape. It was not until he hit my wife that I realised that he was in fact stabbing us with a carving knife.

As my wife moved out of reach he commenced stabbing towards my stomach but fortunately I managed to deflect all but two of aproximately 15 blows with my left arm. I managed to kick him away and suffered two further wounds to my left knee. He stopped the attack and I was fortunately able to talk him out of "finishing it off" and eventually he left the room; it was 1:00 a.m. My wife had left the house by this point.

I curled up in a ball in the bedding and my bladder emptied itself. This gave a great feeling of comfort and warmth and I could quite happily have fallen asleep even though I realised I was in great danger. It took a huge force of will to roll out of bed and examine myself. I gave no consideration to the wounds in my body as I knew there was nothing to be done; however, I was able to bind a severed artery in my arm with a sheet which I then locked tightly in my armpit. Again I rested before phoning an ambulance and after the call I had no choice but to lie on my back and wait for help.

The bed and floor were more or less completely covered in blood and I truly thought I was about to die. I drifted slightly as I tried to come to terms with this and my thoughts wavered between the awfulness of the situation and the ugliness of the ceiling. My thoughts were not noble, I thought of no one else but myself.

At last the ambulance arrived and they began to put me on a trolley. I was too weak to help them and even had great difficulty speaking. They seemed distant as they discussed whether to use a torniquet or not. I was beginning to feel very cold. Somehow I thought to look at the clock; it was 1:50 a.m.

It was sunny and pleasantly warm. I was walking down through a field of grass and flowers towards a pretty wood and shimmering lake. There was someone I liked beside me but I sensed them rather than saw them directly and did not know who they were. There were nice sounds around us but I cannot remember what they were like. I really would have liked to stay but I realised I couldn't. I really, really had to go.

I think I was screaming. I know I was jerking about. The ambulance men tried to calm me and make me respond to them. I fought hard, both to fight them and to calm down. Eventually I was still and they were able to begin the descent of our narrow stairs. The journey was hard and painful. I was so cold every jolt seemed like a hammer blow and we seemed to struggle down forever. In the living room which seemed much darker than normal, I felt as if I were detached and floating above everything.

As I looked around it was as if a the contrast control had been set on full. The shadows went black while light areas went to a terrifically bright, crystaline shimmering white. Somehow it passed and I was back to reality. Everything remained quite dark and very cold but somehow I remained alive and conscious. All the way to the hospital I kept telling myself I should be dead by now. After a bloody awful examination at hospital, they put me to sleep to repair the damage.

Later I was told I had lost four pints of blood and had been resusitated. I spent a week on the ward and have months of joyful physio to look forward to before I regain use of my left hand. I occasionally have feelings that I am in fact dead and this reality has no substance whatsoever.

Fortunately my wife escaped with minor injuries while my stepson has many years in a secure hospital ahead.