Pender farmer who cut off his own leg to save his life is back on two feet

Local News

PENDER, Neb. (KCAU) – What some might see as a chore, Kurt Kaser sees as a blessing.

“I don’t like to sit around,” Pender farmer Kaser said.

This hard-working farmer is used to making tracks until a nearly fatal mistake stopped him dead in his.

“My leg went in and I knew it was not going to be good,” Kaser said.

One false step into the opening of his grain auger and Kurt knew that he had lost his leg, but he was determined not to lose his life.

“For some reason, I thought of my pocket knife. No hesitation,” Kaser said.

As the auger pulled at his leg, Kurt pulled out his knife and cut through muscle and nerves, freeing himself from the machine.

“Headed to the house on my elbows, dragging myself. About gave up where I was going because I was getting worn out,” Kaser said.

But giving up is something Kurt has ever been known to do. He made it 200 feet army crawling to a phone and called for help.

“When we went down to the hospital to see him first things out of his mouth was ‘Why are you guys not working?’ At that point, I knew it wasn’t going to take him long,” farm hand Tyler Hilkemann said.

“They told me I wouldn’t have a leg in 6-8 months,” said Kaser.

Proving doctors wrong and the ones that know him right, Kurt was on two feet again in half the time they predicted and back to work before anyone could have expected.

“Ever since he got his leg you can’t stop him,” Hilkemann said. “One of these days we might steal it from him, but other than that we aren’t going to be able to stop him and he’ll probably be going until the day he dies.”

Putting one leg in front of the other, it might take him a little longer, but Kurt has tried to get back to his normal work schedule. Even running the auger that almost took his life.

“It just makes you go if he can do it, I can do it,” said Hilkemann.

“You have to have the determination to do it and if you want it bad enough, you can do anything,” Kaser said.

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