The rod had gone eight inches into my body, missing my heart by two inches

In October 2020, I was doing a spot of DIY at home in Scarborough. My divorce had come through a week before, but my ex-husband was still living in our three-storey townhouse, which we also shared with our seven-year-old daughter. He was due to move out in four days’ time. I was finding it difficult emotionally, and busied myself with some decorating.

I was on the top floor, in the hallway, steaming the walls to try to scrape off the wallpaper. The heat from the steamer set off the fire alarm. I climbed up on the fifth rung of the ladder to put masking tape over it – I had done that before successfully, but this time I slipped and fell backwards about a metre and a half on to the floor.

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