Posted: May 11, 2011 4:32 PM
Updated: May 11, 2011 4:33 PM
(NBC) -Last year Andrew Linn crashed his car into a fence and was struck in the mouth by a metal pole that went right through the back of his neck.
Surprisingly, he's alive to talk about it.
Linn doesn't remember much of anything about the crash.
The accident happened on November 29th.
"You can see on my nose it came in here, went through and came out the back here," said Linn, looking over an X-ray.
Linn saw that X-ray for the first time Tuesday morning.
"The hardest thing has been opening the mouth and learning how to eat and swallow. Drinking is really difficult."
Linn says he probably fell asleep when he crashed his car near Bonanza and Christy after getting a late-night snack.
Linn passed between two utility polls, crossed the street, and jumped the curb before hitting a trailer in a neighbor's yard.
Dr. Jay Coates, who performed the surgery, says had the pole struck Linn a few centimeters in either direction, he would have bled to death.
"Where the pipe traversed his neck, the obvious injures we were concerned about were the major vessels; the carotid artery and the major vein," Dr. Coates said.
Luckily for his patient, Dr. Coates says the pole compressed the major vessels and didn't puncture them.
Linn is now living each day to the fullest.
"I have a second chance. I spend a lot of time with my kids. I love my wife and my kids, my family, my parents, my siblings. I just make the most of everything."
Linn is no stranger to cheating death.
In 2008, his car was struck when a driver ran a stop sign, giving him neck and back problems.
In 2009, he was honorably discharged from the Marines after serving in Iraq.
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