When Kelvin Lee came face to face with a stranger wielding a knife, he could have run the other way but he stayed to save a friend --- and it nearly cost him his life.
Lee, who turned 24 years old on Monday, nearly didn't get to celebrate another year after he was stabbed and slashed 10 times last month in Sayreville, New Jersey.
The Bridgewater man says he was playing video games at his friend's home on Oct. 24 when he took a nap. The next thing he knew, his friend's recent ex-boyfriend, who police identified as Jordan Hamm, had broken inside and began attacking him with a kitchen knife.
"I was able to get my right arm around his neck and I had him in a chokehold," Lee recalled. "He says he wanted to kill me, kill her and then himself."
Lee said he told Hamm that it didn't have to end this way. He was able to convince the knife-wielding man to take his car and leave, but not before Lee suffered a huge gash down his face, a wound that nearly severed his hand and a piece of knife in his skull.
"If it was half-inch deeper could have been serious brain damage," Lee said of the knife. "They told me there was a piece of metal in my head and it was touching my brain."
What Hamm did after the incident is unclear but police say he died later that day after he was struck by a train in New Brunswick. Hamm was a student at Rutgers University, according to TAPinto, and a live streamer with more than 4,000 followers on Twitch.
A GoFundMe page for Hamm has raised more than $6,000 to help his family.
Lee’s family says they're also trying to raise money for the thousands of dollars in medical bills that are piling up. The 24-year-old called the entire event "tragic," and despite his long road to recover, he said he's glad he was there to protect his friend.
"If I’d have gone home that night and something happened to that girl. I think that would have been way worse than anything that's happened," Lee said.
The victim did not want to be interviewed but expressed her gratitude to Lee.