No one can say Kurtis Kaser doesn’t have a strong will to live.
The 63-year-old Nebraska grain farmer proved it recently when he cut off his left leg with a pocket knife in order to survive a tragic accident.
Kaser was unloading corn on his farm near Pender when he got his foot caught inside a grain auger, a device designed to deposit grain in a bin, according to The Associated Press.
“Stepped into the hopper in the little hole. It just sucked my leg in and I was trying to pull it out, but it kept pulling,” Kaser told local station KETV. “When it first happened, I remember thinking, ‘This ain’t good. This is not good at all.’”
Even worse: Kaser couldn’t find his cellphone, so he couldn’t call for help, even as the device pulled him further into the grain hopper.
So he decided drastic but necessary measures were in order.
“I had my pocket knife in my pocket. I said, ‘The only way I’m getting out of here is to cut it off,’ so I just started sawing at it,” he told the station. ”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.”
Kaser then crawled home with his elbows so he could call for help. First responders soon arrived in a helicopter and took him to a local hospital.
He spent a week there before being transferred to a rehabilitation hospital for physical therapy.
Kaser’s wife, Lori, told CNN they are both adjusting to the accident, but said he will be fitted for a prosthetic once his leg heals.
Kaser told KETV he plans to return to farming, but wants others to learn from his mistakes.
“I paid the price of being in a hurry and not paying attention, basically,” Kaser said.