Farmer amputates his leg with a pocket knife to save his own life

Article Image

A farmer in Nebraska was transferring corn when he accidentally stepped into a grain auger, forcing him to cut off his leg and seek help. HLN's Robin Meade explains.

Posted: May 15, 2019 6:31 AM


A farmer in Nebraska was just trying to transfer some corn from one place to another when he accidentally stepped into a hole, the hole happened to be a grain auger.

Kurtis Kaser, 63, knew he had to act quick as his leg was getting pulled into the machine.

"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," Kaser told CNN.

Kaser was at the farm by himself in Pender, located near the Iowa border, about three and a half weeks ago, when he had to make the split decision to cut off his leg.

"I didn't have a phone on me, I didn't know where it had gone, so I just started cutting with the knife," he said. "I knew I was done cutting because I felt a funny feeling, maybe it was a tendon I cut."

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.

"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.

He was rushed to Bryan Medical Center and stayed there for about a week before transferring to Madonna Rehabilitation Center, where he underwent physical therapy.

"I was 45 minutes away from home when this happened, they were flying him away as I was arriving and I didn't get to see how he was doing before that," his wife, Lori, told CNN. "I am just glad he's here with us."

This isn't the first time Kaser has had a scare like this on the farm.

"These accidents happen all the time, when I was a sixth grader my other leg got stuck in a tractor, only my skin suffered that time," he said. "We're kind of used to this around here."

Kaser said he doesn't remember how long the whole ordeal lasted but when he returned home from the rehabilitation hospital on Friday, he was shocked to realize how far he had crawled.

"Everyone asks me why I am so calm about the situation and the truth is, when I was in Madonna (the rehabilitation hospital), I saw so many people who will probably never be able to walk again and I know I will be able to walk mildly normal, I'm fortunate."

His wife said they are now adjusting to the new lifestyle and within time they know everything will be back to normal. Once his leg is finished healing, he'll be fitted for a prosthetic and Kaser told CNN affiliate KETV that he'll be back to farming in no time.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3967

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah105258
Marion91425
Washington69817
Clackamas29610
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill667
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Crook60
Curry60
Union60
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99387

Reported Deaths: 3819
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles478452145
Riverside7139303
San Diego6797249
Orange5578131
San Bernardino4567176
Alameda298693
Santa Clara2675139
San Francisco239940
San Mateo190482
Kern187629
Tulare177179
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno148222
Contra Costa135337
Imperial135224
Sacramento131056
Ventura91230
San Joaquin77133
Kings6882
Stanislaus65928
Sonoma5154
Solano45520
Monterey4298
Marin41714
Merced2687
San Luis Obispo2631
Santa Cruz2002
Yolo19822
Placer1889
Napa1093
Humboldt942
Madera852
El Dorado780
San Benito762
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Del Norte400
Shasta364
Mono341
Yuba281
Mendocino220
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Lake140
Calaveras140
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Plumas40
Lassen40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 63°
Brookings
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 62°
Grants Pass
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Klamath Falls
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 62°
Hot week, stormy weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Wednesday, May 27 morning weather

Image

Smoke expected through today

Image

Fighting fires during coronavirus

Image

Nate Bittle is gearing up for his senior year

Image

Search and rescue adjusts to a pandemic

Image

Tuesday, May 26th Evening Weather

Image

Search and Rescue teams adjust their jobs during the pandemic

Image

Anywhere Learning: Read-aloud - Sarah, Plain and Tall, Part 2

Image

Anywhere Learning: Mystery Adventure, Part 2

Image

Anywhere Learning: All About Family