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. It was a situation that could have killed him.
Kaser was alone and opted to do the only thing he could think to do: The 63-year-old amputated his own leg, using just his pocket knife.
“I thought, ‘How long am I going to stay conscious here?’ I didn’t know what to expect. I felt it jerk me again and I thought it would grab me and pull me in further,” he told an ABC News affiliate.
The scare happened about three weeks ago, but he just got released from the rehabilitation center on Friday. His story has been garnering national attention, with the likes of ABC, NBC, and CNN featuring Kaser for interviews.
The incident was scary and painful. Once Kaser amputated his leg, he then pulled himself to his phone — which was about 150 feet away and far out of reach while he was in the hopper — and called for help.
“I could feel [the blade] cutting nerves,” Kaser told NBC. “Finally, it let go, and then I started crawling to the house.”
He was taken to the hospital and then later airlifted to another hospital. After treatment, Kaser began physical therapy.
The farmer told CNN that this isn’t the first time he’s had a scare like this on the farm. After all, he’s been farming for more than four decades.
“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.”