Cambridge scientist Dr Kate Stone was on holiday in Lochailort in the Highlands at the end of last year when she was charged at by a startled stag as she walked back from a village pub.
The animal knocked over the 44-year-old, impaling her throat in its antlers. She was taken by ambulance to Fort William's Belford hospital, where a metal stent was inserted in her neck and her punctured lung was drained. She was then transferred by helicopter to Glasgow's Southern General hospital.
In a 10-hour operation, surgeons reconstructed the cartilage in her neck; incredibly, the antler stopped just millimetres from her spinal chord and a major artery.
Dr Stone, an electronics inventor, had to learn to speak and write again
Until just a few weeks ago, she had to be fed through a naso-gastric tube. However, the mother-of-three has now returned to work at her hi-tech print company in Cambridge.
She reveals the worst part of the experience was not the physical assault, but the mental trauma.
"I had crazy hallucinations, which carried on a week after I woke up," she recalls. "It was a very scary and dark time, like a recurring bad dream."
Dr Stone, who spent most of her recovery at her sister's home in Dundee, reveals she still has flashbacks.
"People think I made a miraculous recovery, and physically I did. But the mental scars will take a lot longer to heal."
However, she also spoke of coming to terms with the accident. "I suppose I could wallow in what's happened, and ask 'Why me?'.
"But I don't see the point. I believe it was part of my path in life, and part of that path was that I survived."