Tuesday, 26 May, 2020

Trapped US farmer cuts off own leg to save life

Kurt Kaser Kurt Kaser ABC 7
Deanna Wagner | 18 May, 2019, 04:58

A USA farmer is recovering after cutting off his own leg with a pocket knife to save himself from a piece of farm equipment he had become caught in.

On April 26, he was using the same auger to fill a bin with grain and forgot that part of the screen covering the hopper was still missing. With his left leg stuck in the hopper, he made a decision to take matters into his own hands.

He was airlifted to hospital where he spent weeks rehabilitation before returning home on Friday. Once Kaser amputated his leg, he then pulled himself to his phone - which was about 150 feet away and far out of reach while he was in the hopper - and called for help.

"I thought, 'How long am I going to stay conscious here, ' you know?"

But when he got a good grip on the knife, he said he started sawing his leg about eight inches below his knee. "I knew I was done cutting because I felt a amusing feeling, maybe it was a tendon I cut".

He was forced to cut off his lower leg with a 3in (7.6cm) pen knife and crawl to the nearest phone for help.

Kurt Kaser, 63, became stuck in the machine at his farm in Pender. But he said when he cut through the nerve endings, he felt a "ping".

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"I guess I'm stubborn".

"I was in a hurry and didn't pay attention", he said, hoping his story can serve as a warning to other farmers.

Speaking of his traumatic ordeal, Kaser said: 'I did what I thought I had to do, and it worked'. "I can remember seeing it start and I go, 'This ain't good, '" Kaser said.

Kaser said his recovery process has been painful, but he is determined to walk again.

He said it's not the first time he's gotten his leg stuck in an auger, explaining that a few years ago one injured his right leg.

Once his leg is healed, Kaser will be fitted for a prosthetic and expects to be back to farming in no time. Some (other patients) won't ever get out of their wheelchairs.