Chris Furey’s wounds are severe, but he’s a lucky man. A walk to the grocery store last Friday night changed the 33-year-old’s life.

“I stepped on the path and I was stabbed,” Furey said.

“His carotid artery was missed by less than a millimeter,” said his mother, Cindy Furey.

It was around 9:30 p.m. on a well-travelled path near his home in Cole Harbour, N.S. Furey says he grabbed his throat to stop the bleeding and started knocking on nearby doors.

“If it wasn’t for them opening, I wouldn’t be here,” he said.

His mother was the first to get the call from the RCMP. But she says the scarier news came from his surgeon.

“They severed his vagus nerve, which controls swallowing, speech, digestion,” Cindy Furey said.

Surgeons were able to reconnect the nerve, but there were multiple stab wounds and he suffered paralysis to his vocal chords.

RCMP arrested a 26-year-old Cole Harbour man on Saturday. Thomas Daniel Earl Jenkins is remanded to the East Coast Forensic Hospital to undergo a 30-day psychiatric assessment. He is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder.

“We’re very pleased the investigation could move so quickly and we were able to affect an arrest and lay charges in this case,” said Const. Mark Skinner of the Nova Scotia RCMP.

RCMP say Chris Furey did not know his attacker. He will be off work for at least a month, and is worried about money. His brother has started an online fundraiser.

“Neighbours, friends from across the country, everyone is hitting on it and it’s a really good outpouring,” said Mitchell Furey.

The entire family is counting their blessings.

“We’re happy this is what we’re dealing with, and not what it could have been,” said Cindy.

Furey was released from hospital on Thursday.

“I have seven beautiful nieces I get to go home to see,” said Chris.

And there’s nowhere he would rather be after a very close call.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelly Linehan