Farmer saws off own leg with pocket knife, crawls for help

Nebraska farmer amputates his own leg to save life after getting stuck in machinery

It's hard to imagine a situation more terrifying: While moving corn on his Nebraska farm, Kurt Kaser stepped into a corn hopper while the auger was running - and the bottom portion of his leg became stuck in the machine.

An auger in the hopper - a tube that uses a rotating shaft to suck the grain into a bin - pulled in his left leg and left it mangled.

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.

After a week in the hospital and two weeks in rehab in a clinic, he had been on Friday dismissed.

His leg got stuck in a piece of farm equipment as Kaser was unloading corn.

"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.

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So he pulled out his 3-inch pocket knife and hacked away at his leg. Alone on his 1,500 acres, there would be no one who could hear his agonizing calls for help.

He said he looks forward to returning to farming. "I was in a hurry and didn't pay attention", he said.

"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. "I don't know. But nobody has been able to find it", Kaser said of the phone.

Once free, Kaser crawled about 200 feet to the nearest phone. "You want to survive and you do what you need to do to survive, I guess".

Kaser said his recovery process has been painful, but he is determined to walk again.

This isn't the first time Kaser has had a scare like this on the farm. The married father of three grown children said he has been meeting with doctors to determine when he can get a prosthetic leg. Some (other patients) won't ever get out of their wheelchairs.

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