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Farmer uses pocket knife to amputate leg caught in machinery

16 May 2019

A 63-year-old farmer in Nebraska had to make a split decision to save his own life when he accidentally stepped into a grain auger last month.

As he was unloading corn, his leg got caught in farm equipment and he couldn't get it out.

"I about gave up once and just said the heck with it... and then I felt it jerk me again".

"I thought for sure I would pass out, and somehow something told me to keep going", he told NBC News in a phone interview Tuesday of the accident that occurred near the end of April.

So, he took his pocket knife out and sawed off his leg below the knee.

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"I can remember seeing it start and I go, 'This ain't good, '" Kaser said.

Kaser, who has been a farmer for more than 40 years, is determined to get back to work as soon as he can.

After he tried to free himself but couldn't, he grabbed a pocketknife he was carrying and cut his leg free. When Kaser couldn't find his cell phone, he nearly lost hope, "I was afraid it was going to suck me in more".

"When I was cutting it, the nerve endings I could feel them just ping every time I'd start sawing around that pipe and all at once it went and let me go so I got the heck out of there".

The farmer said shortly after, he proceeded to crawl towards his house using his elbows so he could reach a phone to call for help.

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"I guess I'm stubborn".

"I stopped for a little bit but I didn't want to stop for long in case I passed out, there was no way for me to get help, everyone was gone at the time, I just did what I had to do and they (first responders) got me in a helicopter", he said.

"It is what it is", he told KETV.

He was airlifted to hospital where he spent weeks rehabilitation before returning home on Friday. He will have to wait for the amputated leg to fully heal before getting a prosthetic leg.

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Farmer uses pocket knife to amputate leg caught in machinery