Transcript for the Piece Audio version of Wade: Blow from bale of hay
Else: I hear you had a bad accident on the farm.
Wade: I did. I did have an accident on the farm. I was warned many times by incidents, if
you will, with hay bales, which stack square hay bales in a big stack as we’d put
up hay in the summertime, and then I would feed out of them during the winter. I
thought I was always careful of pulling the hay off the top instead of off the
bottom. When you pull out of the bottom the stack would tip over. Well, careful
with that, I knew what I was doing. But I would use a farmhand and reach up on
top of the pile and just grab bales and pull them off the top and let them fall. Then
I would pick them up and put them on the front and go out and feed with it. Well,
this particular morning I drove up to the bale pile where I had pulled the bales off
the top the day before. I was just picking up the bales off the bottom that were
laying loose. Threw the last one on the front of the farmhand as some were
waiting for me to back up underneath of it, and they fell on top of me.
Else: Were you by yourself?
Wade: I was by myself. When they hit me they came down and landed on my hip,
pushed my hip forward, my chin down to my chest. I could feel something break.
Crack—something happened. I was immediately in shock and in pain. I didn’t
know what happened.
Else: Did you pass out?
Wade: No. I was awake all the time and I thought, hmm, I wondered what it was going to
be like; here’s where I’m going to die—it’s the thought that went through my
head. Well, I couldn’t get out, get over the top of the bale pile. I couldn’t get out
over the top of the tractor. So I climbed up that little snow bank and walked
alongside of the board fence, knowing that I had to go get help. My body was
telling me: sit straight, stand straight, don’t bend. My right arm was paralyzed to
the point where there was just a sharp pain down the outside edge of my right
arm. So, my dad came out the front door. He told me afterwards he knew I was
hurt. And so, we go into town, go to the small hospital. I was wearing a brand
new shirt that I had just gotten for Christmas and I said “no, no, I’ll get up and
take my shirt off.” He says, “young man, I don’t want you to more than blink your
eyes.” He said “you have a very serious injury,” and used medical terms: “you
have broken the fourth, fifth, sixth vertebrae.” In other words, I have a broken
neck. To go into the hospital and have to lay flat was a traumatic experience for
me. While I was in the hospital I did have three, actually four roommates. Out of
the four of us with broken necks, I was the only one that walked out. I have
learned to, first of all, not be underneath the bale pile. And I’ve learned to—I don’t
always do this—but I’ve learned to slow down and be aware of what I’m doing.
Sometimes we get in a hurry and don’t think about what we’re doing, and that’s
when we get in trouble, and that’s what had happened.