Springbank footballer Brad Simpson is out of hospital two months after his close mate Tom Quinlan saved his life in a freak wood chopping accident.
The duo were working to earn travel money before a tree suddenly struck Mr Simpson at Mr Quinlan's property on March 27.
"I was cutting it and it started falling the right way, but then it twisted, falling off its stump, and it came back on me," Mr Simpson said.
"It was just so quick, I didn't really have anywhere to go."
The heavy tree fell on the 19-year-old's chest, making it difficult to breathe and severely injuring his spine.
Mr Quinlan was just metres away and immediately knew something had gone seriously wrong.
He barged over and managed to lift the tree, giving Mr Simpson enough room to painfully wriggle out from underneath.
Both were still in shock when the ambulance air wing soon descended over them, kicking up dust with a deafening sound before rushing Mr Simpson to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne.
Now, two months on, Mr Simpson said things would have played out a lot differently had Mr Quilan not been there.
"It was a fair-sized tree, so I don't know how he managed to get it off me," he said.
Mr Simpson has been surrounded by family and friends ever since, returning to his family’s property at the foot of Mount Warrenheip last week.
Already a determined young man, he has defied doctors’ expectations.
They believed Mr Simpson would have to remain in hospital for at least six months, but he was out within nine weeks on a wheelchair.
Mr Simpson's mum, Mandy, said it was lucky he survived. "We will be ever grateful to Tom - Brad wouldn't be here without him keeping a cool head,” she said.
"He lifted the tree off him, now, how the heck he did that - if you could see the size of the tree - how he ever managed that we'll never know, but he got that off him which ultimately saved his life.
"We're so grateful he is alive.”
Now Mr Simpson is focusing all his efforts on being able to walk again.
Doctors can't say what will happen, as each spinal injury is different.
But Mr Simpson has showed promising progress with Sebastopol physiologist Grant McKechnie and Springbank footy coach Bryan Wethling, who the family reserved special praise for.
Mr Quinlan said it was scary going home that night back in March, not knowing what his friend’s injuries would be.
"He's making good progress, he probably doesn't notice much," Mr Quinlan said.
"But I do."