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Farmer Amputated His Own Leg to Escape a Gruesome Fate

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Forced to make an unnerving decision, a Nebraska farmer recently amputated his own leg to escape a more excruciating fate. When Kurt Kaser, a grain farmer, got his leg stuck in the opening of a grain hopper after an augur caught it, he quickly surveyed the situation and came up with the only plausible solution. “I had my pocket knife in my pocket. I said, ‘The only way I’m getting out of here is to cut it off,’ so I just started sawing at it,” he told ketv.com.

Farming for more than four decades, 63-year-old Kaser told local media that his phone was out of reach when his leg got stuck. He hadn’t been anticipating anyone to come along for some time, so he did the only thing he could think to save his life, and amputated his own leg. He was released from a rehabilitation center on Friday, May 10, 2019, after which he explained the circumstances to local media. He told ketv.com that he got out of his truck and accidentally “stepped into the hopper in the little hole. It just sucked my leg in and I was trying to pull it out, but it kept pulling…I thought, ‘How long am I going to stay conscious here?’ I didn’t know what to expect. I felt it jerk me again and I thought it would grab me and pull me in further.” An auger in the grain hopper had caught his leg and began mangling it.

Farmer Amputated His Own Leg to Escape a Gruesome Fate

Photo: Wikimedia

Kaser made the gruesome decision after accepting that making use of his pocket knife would be the only recourse and began cutting. “When I was cutting it, the nerve endings, I could feel, like, the ping every time I sawed around that pipe, and all at once it went and it let me go and I got the heck out of there,” he told ketv.com. Having amputated his leg, he crawled 150 feet to his phone, after which he was picked up and taken to a hospital. Since then, he’s healed to the point of commencing occupational and physical therapy. Education around the occupational dangers in the agriculture industry is prevalent through Texas, in hopes of explaining the possible outcomes that can result from the misuse of equipment, missteps (such as Kaser’s), and general health and safety tips for effective management of machinery. Fact sheets, safety tips, and even a National Farm Safety and Health Week have been generated as a result of on-the-job incidents and accidents. Such education is first and foremost the responsibility of industry leaders, while the necessary precautions and awareness on the farm or ranch are the responsibility of the farmer or rancher themselves. “It is what it is,” Kaser explained to ketv.com. “Make the best of it is all you can do. It could have always been worse.”