Nebraska farmer saws off own leg with pocket knife, crawls for help

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2019

Nebraska farmer Kurt Kaser was moving grain into a bin last month when his foot slipped into a piece of farm equipment, a grain auger that has a large rotating screw blade in it.

Kaser, 63, told KETV that he had told himself "this ain't good, this is not good at all" while attempting to remove his trapped leg from the device. He wasn't sure how long he'd stay conscious.

"I had my pocket knife and I thought "well, the only way I'm getting outta here is to cut it off" so I just started sawing on it. It grabbed ahold of me", he told ABC News.

Kaser said he felt the auger jerk his leg even further and knew it would pull him in.

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

His occupational therapist, Dani Willey, said Kaser - who admitted that he "paid the price" for not paying attention - now has his sights set on returning to his farm.

He began to amputate his own leg with a knife, which he said had a 3-to-4-inch blade. "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 thought, 'Well, I was going in.

Dani Willey, his occupational therapist, told KETV: 'He told me his goal, basically, "I need to get home and get back to what I was doing before", which was farming'.

"I guess I'm stubborn".

Despite the nature of the accident, Kaser told local media that he remains optimistic because he will be able to walk again one day.

The married dad-of-three spent about a week in the hospital and two weeks recovering at a rehabilitation facility before being released Friday.

Kaser undergoes physical thearpy to get stronger after losing his leg.

After he was freed, he crawled 150 feet to the nearest phone and was flown to a hospital.

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