Trapped US farmer cuts off own leg to save life

Sergio Conner
May 16, 2019

Kurt Kaser made headlines after using a pocket knife to saw off his own leg following a risky accident with machinery on his island.

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.

"I didn't have no other choice", Mr Kaser told broadcaster ABC News.

I thought 'how long am I going to stay conscious here?' because I didn't know what to expect.

The farmer then took out his pen knife and cut off what remained of his limb below the knee. "Finally, it let go, and then I started crawling to the house". Kaser said he was so used to his routine that he didn't think anything out of the ordinary would happen that day, but then he stepped out of his truck and accidentally into a grain hopper.

He said his family was not home and he knew it would be a while before anyone arrived at the farm.

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He began to amputate his own leg with a knife, which he said had a 3-to-4-inch blade. "I said, 'The only way I'm getting out of here is to cut it off, ' so I just started sawing at it". When Kaser couldn't find his cell phone, he nearly lost hope, "I was afraid it was going to suck me in more". "That's what I was hanging onto as I was trying to get myself out".

The father-of-three spent a week in hospital, and two weeks at a rehabilitation facility, before being released last Friday. "You want to survive and you do what you need to do to survive, I guess".

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

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

After he was freed, he crawled 45 metres to the nearest phone and was flown to a hospital.

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