AN ELDERLY man was impaled in a horrific gardening accident, when he fell from a ladder onto a rusty post.

Miraculously, the man - named as 70-year-old Ken Griffin - has survived the incident and is recovering after emergency surgery to remove the post.

On the morning of Friday, April 25 Mr Griffin was helping his daughter with some gardening work at her home in Vale View, Barry.

Standing just four foot off the ground on a ladder, Mr Griffin was trying to free a fallen branch that was resting on a small tree. The ladder became unstable and Mr Griffin fell into a bush, which should have provided a soft landing.

However, concealed in the undergrowth was a rusty post from an old mesh fence. Mr Griffin landed on the post - approximately three to four inches wide - and was impaled through his back.

Emergency services were called and South Wales Fire and Rescue worked for an hour to free Mr Griffin before he was taken to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff for emergency surgery.

Following a successful surgery to remove the post it was revealed that the implement had narrowly missed any vital organs and Mr Griffin had only received one cracked rib.

With Mr Griffin out of hospital and his family now recovering after the traumatic events, a family member described him as "the luckiest man alive".

In a statement on behalf of Mr Griffin, the family member said: "Mr Griffin and his family would like to express their sincere thanks to the hospital staff, also to the police, ambulance and fire crews that attended the incident so promptly.

"A special thank you goes to the three builders who were also on site, whose quick thinking and huge physical effort certainly prevented a more serious outcome.

"We are acutely aware of how lucky he has been and are currently trying to come to terms with what has been a very traumatic experience for everybody involved."