A young police officer stabbed on duty said at first he did not feel the serrated blade plunge into his chest and hit his lung.
Const. Kean Ball-Hornblow thought he had been hit or punched during the struggle to wrest a 20cm knife from a distressed woman in April.
"I then got my vest and jacket off to find all this blood," Const. Ball-Hornblow said.
"I obviously saw the knife but I didn't connect that it had been in me because I still managed to get the knife off her."
The blade plunged 5cm into the 23-year-old's chest after passing through his shirt, load-bearing vest and jacket.
He has spoken for the first time about how attempts to help a woman who was threatening self-harm left him seriously wounded.
Const. Ball-Hornblow told the WA Police Union's magazine Police News the blade had cut into the pleura, the sack around his lung.
"I was bleeding into my thoracic cavity and my lung was collapsing," he said.
"So they (doctors) put an intercostal catheter through my chest into my cavity and they drained blood out of my chest for about five days."
The Kiara police station officer was on his last shift before holidays when he and his partner were called to help two Morley officers deal with a person with a knife.
The pair found their colleagues near a busy intersection trying to convince a woman to drop a knife, fearing she was going to hurt herself.
Const. Ball-Hornblow said she was not threatening them but pacing and holding the knife towards herself.
When he saw her put the knife to her side, he instinctively grabbed her arm and his colleagues jumped in. He was stabbed during the struggle.
It was the second time this year Const. Ball-Hornblow had made headlines.
In January, the officer - who is also a volunteer firefighter with Sawyers Valley brigade - saved homes in the Parkerville bushfires. His home and prized motorcycle went up in flames.
Const. Ball-Hornblow has returned to work with scars on the right side of his chest that will probably never go away.
"It could have happened to anyone, just sucked that it happened to me but I'm all right," he said.