The Unkindest Cut: Trapped Nebraska Farmer Saws Off Own Leg to Survive
Photo by Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital

The Unkindest Cut: Trapped Nebraska Farmer Saws Off Own Leg to Survive

A Nebraskan farmer was forced to amputate his own leg with a pocket knife after it got trapped in a piece of farm equipment. He was still able to crawl back to his house and call for help.

Kurt Kaser, 63, a resident of Pender, Nebraska, was unloading corn when an auger in the hopper caught his leg and pulled it inside the machine.

Kaser, a grain farmer for over 40 years, tried pulling his leg out of the hopper, but to no avail. He did not have his cellphone with him, and no one was around to help.

Kaser worried about how long he could remain conscious, and felt the machine pulling him further in. So, he took out his pocket knife and amputated his own left leg below the knee. Kaser said he could feel the nerve endings in his leg being severed as he sawed through them until it went all at once.

After freeing himself, Kaser crawled 150 feet to the nearest phone and called 911. From the time his leg was caught in the machine until help arrived and he was flown to a hospital, Kaser says he never lost consciousness.

Kaser’s leg got caught in a corn hopper’s auger as he was unloading grain. File photo of a Brent 770 auger wagon by Corn kernals

Kaser has already been released from a rehabilitation center and is now waiting for his leg to heal so he can use a prosthetic leg. Throughout the ordeal, Kaser remained calm and positive, and the clear mindset he maintained is a huge contributor to his survival.

Even after being released from the rehabilitation center, Kaser is still upbeat about what happened. In an interview with CBS News, he said “It is what it is. Make the best of it is all you can do. I mean, it coulda always been worse.”

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