Published: Sat, May 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Nebraska farmer amputates leg with pocketknife after getting caught in corn hopper

Nebraska farmer amputates leg with pocketknife after getting caught in corn hopper

He relived the moment in an interview with the broadcaster: "I stepped right in the damn thing". It was the latter that betrayed him and ultimately cost him his leg: Kaser was alone on the farm that day when, in a moment's inattention, his foot got stuck in the corn hopper.

"I didn't know what to do and I didn't know how long I would keep my consciousness either, I about gave up but then I remembered I had my pocket knife", he told CNN.

Kaser's foot slipped into the auger, torn from his leg before his eyes.

Then, the gruesome solution: "I had my pocket knife in my pocket".

"I did what I believed in doing", said Kurt Kaser, "and it worked". Growing desperate by the seconds, the farmer said he was left with one option.

He said back in the winter the ground had frozen on his farm and he had to jury-rig the auger to make it fit under a bin by cutting away part of a safety screen covering the auger's hopper. "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". "I felt it jerk me again and I thought it would grab me and pull me in further", he told an ABC News affiliate.

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The farmer spent weeks in hospital and rehabilitation before returning home to Pender near the Iowa border on Friday.

After freeing himself, he crawled 50 metres to the nearest phone to get help. He was released from rehab over the weekend but will need to wait until his leg is fully healed to be fitted for a prosthetic.

He added: 'I look at other people that were [at the hospital] and I still have most of my leg and hope to walk again soon.

He wants to go back to farming right away but is also warning others to learn from his mistakes.

"Everybody says, 'You seem so upbeat about it, '" he said. "I paid the price of being in a hurry and not paying attention, basically".

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