Parents worst nightmare


CRESCO - Local fourth graders learned the consequences of not being safe during the second 4-H Farm Safety Education Day held at the Howard County Fairgrounds on Sept. 21.
On Nov. 6, 2016, three-year-old Madisyn Frye was playing at her grandparents’, Todd and Lauri Kaeser, farm near Rossville. They and Madi’s mother, Kayla, told the story of a normal day that went horribly wrong. Many times the family had to catch themselves because the emotions from that day are still strong.
Lauri: It was a Sunday, and we were doing chores. We had to go to church and later to my brother’s birthday party. We went to get a card, and Madi picked out a card with a chicken on it. She likes chickens. When we got back, we had lunch, raked leaves and picked walnuts.
[The family started milking early, at 3 p.m., to be able to get to the party.]
Todd: Me and Madi were cleaning up around the auger. The hopper holds the corn [he explained to the students]. I could see Madi playing. She yelled, “Grandpa! My hand!” She had cut her hand off. The auger wasn’t running. I went to the barn to get Lauri. We put her hand on ice.
[After some emotional yelling, Lauri calmed down.}
Lauri: The auger wasn’t running. We took her to the house. We put her [arm] in a bag of ice. Todd had to go get her hand to put it on ice.
[The family called Kayla and the hired girl because the milkers were still attached to the cows.]
We took off for the hospital and called to let them know we were coming.
Madi never cried once, until they cut her favorite chore shirt off. The helicopter arrived in one hour 20 minutes to take her to Mayo. We called Kayla to go to Mayo.
Kayla: When I got the call, I was by Ridgeway. I turned around [and went home to Cresco to throw stuff in a bag] and left for Rochester. I got there just when she landed. I talked to her a little bit. She talked about the helicopter ride and the two guys named Rob who took care of her [who were on the flight].
Her surgery was eight-and-a-half hours. It was the longest eight-and-a-half hours of my life! She spent 13 days in the hospital.
Lauri: She and Kayla stayed with us two months while she recuperated. She had therapy two times a week for about three months. 
The surgeons couldn’t find the tendons in her hand. The tendons had snapped like rubber bands. She has the use of her thumb and she now has feeling in her fingers. We hope in 5-10 years, with technology she can have a tendon replacement.
I just want to say, “Machinery doesn’t have to be running to be dangerous.”
The family then opened it up for questions. They explained her hand hardly bled at all. It had to have pins and be sewn back on. She still uses it, but more as a helper hand. It did not take long to find the hand before they took off for the hospital.
One child asked how long it took to get to the hospital. Lauri replied, “We are about 12 miles from the hospital. Maybe five minutes!”
And the big question: How did it get cut off if the auger wasn’t running. The family admitted they wonder that themselves, but admitted the blades were very sharp, and Madi’s hand must have went in and she pulled it out quickly.
Lauri added, “She now warns her dogs not to put their paws in there.”
The now four-year-old is a rambunctious little girl who hasn’t let the accident change her life. It has changed the lives of her mom and grandparents, who are now much more aware of how quickly life can change.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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