While unloading corn into a storage bin, the grain grower’s leg became caught in the grain auger, which resembles a large drill bit.
‘I stepped right on the damn thing. It grabbed a hold of me,’ Kurt told ABC News in the US.
Kurt had removed part of the safety screen to make it fit under a bin after the ground on his farm had frozen in the winter.
‘I’m kind of disappointed in myself that I didn’t think of fixing that thing… But that’s why they call it accidents I guess,’ Kurt said.
‘When my foot was in there banging around I was trying to hold my leg, and I said, “This is not good”.’
Desperately hanging on to his trapped limb to stop himself being dragged further into the auger, Kurt could see all the flesh stripped away and the bone exposed.
‘The bone stuck out down to my ankle. That’s what I was hanging on to as I was trying to get myself out,’ Kurt recalls.
With no-one else in the vicinity, and unable to find his phone, Kurt knew his life was hanging in the balance and he risked passing out.
‘I felt it try to grab me again,’ Kurt said.
‘I about gave up and said, “Whatever happens, happens. If it sucks me in all the way, it’s over with”.’
That’s when he remembered his pocket knife.
Using the small blade, Kurt bravely amputated his own leg just under the knee.
‘Adrenaline kicked in so much that I don’t know if it hurt or not,’ Kurt says.
Once free from the machinery, Kurt had to drag himself 45 metres, commando style, across rocks and gravel to reach his office phone.
Kurt was airlifted to hospital and after rehabilitation says that life with a prosthetic wouldn’t be so bad.
‘It could always be worse,’ says the brave farmer.