Paralyzed Minnesota Farmer Won’t Let Injury Get in the Way of Farming
Santiago, MN farmer, Mark Edling, won't let his injury get in the way of his love of farming. The Edling potato farm has been in the family for so many years and he and his brothers are now the ones that run the farm. But Mark was convinced he would never be able to farm again after his accident.
Mark was helping out a friend in January of 2010. Boyd Huppert of KARE 11 writes that he was "helping a friend build a shed when he fell from scaffolding. The fall wasn’t more than 8 feet, but the landing was awkward and happened on winter-hard frozen ground." He is a C7 quadriplegic since he broke his neck.
He was in a medically induced coma for three weeks. He then went to Colorado to learn how to do many basic life skills, including how to breathe again, for five weeks. He was convinced farming was in the past for him.
Then the next harvest came around and he had figured out a way to farm again. Mark designed a contraption from a forklift to lift him up into the cab of the tractor. Boyd Huppert writes that "Mark has regained just enough hand movement to work the controls for the tractor and harvester."
Mark said to Boyd, "'With farming, things break, it's a challenge to fix it. I'm broken, I've got to fix it.'”
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