In April of 2022, Logan Erickson lost his leg in a grain bin accident at his family farm near Raymond, in western Minnesota. At that point, his life could have gone one of two ways.
"At a young age, you kind of get involved in the farm. Picking rocks, pulling weeds, stuff like that. So I just loved being outside," said Logan Erickson.
Country living is in Logan's blood. It took a little more work to convince his wife, Annie, to move from town to a farm. Eventually, it grew on her, too.
"I don't know, there's something so beautiful about it, peaceful. You see the year in such different seasons," said Annie Erickson.
But danger lurks among the beauty. On a cold, spring day last year, Logan was removing moldy corn from a grain bin. Safety grates cover a powerful auger that pulls the corn out.
"If you stick a piece of metal in there it will just chop it right up," said Logan. "I'd been stepping on it all day, over the top of the safety grates. It was the last load of the day."
Because of that, his co-worker and safety partner had left to go park the truck -- and that's when tragedy struck. As Logan stepped on the grate, his foot got caught in the tiniest of gaps and the 20-horsepower auger pulled him through.
"I think I was like in such shock," said Logan. "Me versus 20 horses, I don't win that fight. I called the guy I was working with three times, he didn't answer. He must have been outside the truck still."
For three-and-a-half excruciating minutes, there was a gruesome tug of war for his leg. Logan tried to pull himself out as the auger pulled back -- all while slicing through his left foot.
"I was like crying out to God, please save me," said Logan.
His uncle finally arrived and shut off the motor.
"I see three ambulances come by and almost instantly I get a call from his mom," said Annie.
Annie was home with the couple's two young girls when she heard what happened. She arrived at the farm to a scene of paramedics, friends and Logan's dad and brother trying to free him.
"The auger kind of like cut it right down like basically the middle of my foot," said Logan
It took nearly four hours to get Logan out. After he was airlifted to HCMC, doctors presented him with a life-changing decision. He could keep his foot and live in pain, or amputate and live with a prosthetic.
"My first reaction was like, 'My life's over. This is gonna be the worst thing ever,'" said Logan.
Badly wanting to return to his active lifestyle, Logan chose to amputate. And after some thought and prayer, his attitude changed. Just a couple weeks after having part of his leg removed, Logan was back at it.
"I was getting so antsy, I'm like I want to do something," Logan said.
Fast forward to the Fourth of July, and Logan was once again water skiing -- this time on two legs.
"It brings me to tears every time. Sometimes it's happy tears, I'm just crying because it's like so fun to see him. And other times, I feel that heartbrokenness, and it's sad," said Annie.
There are still growing pains with the prosthetics. But Logan is back to running and playing sports, thanks to different legs and different shoes.
"With every activity or thing I do, it's kind of like a roller coaster of emotions," said Logan. "You can only push forward, move forward. You can't turn back."
These are life lessons the couple is hoping their daughters pick up on, and the girls don't have to look far for inspiration.
"The things he's doing, I just I don't know, he just inspires me constantly," said Annie.
"Every day is still a blessing from God. I'm still on this Earth...I get to be with [my family], love on them," said Logan. "The good just outweighs the bad."
In addition to water skiing and running, Logan is also playing in a golf league this summer. He's hoping to get a blade prosthetic with more bend that will make running a little more natural.
About one in three U.S. farmers suffer a serious but non-fatal injury each year.
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