Marshall Co. woman loses arm, leg in farming accident

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Many of us have goals for the new year, but 2019 for one Marshall County woman is a second chance to spend time with friends and family – a chance she nearly lost last harvest season.

Betsy Jibben with our AgDay affiliate shares her story.

Laurie Hayn has done what some could say is the impossible. An avid hiker and climber at 54, no mountain too high.

But her life changed the second day of harvest on Sept. 18.

"I was trying to get out of his way, but I wasn't fast enough," Hayn said.

Laurie had climbed out of the tractor she was driving while pulling the grain cart. The combine driver didn't see her out in the field. When he did, it was too late.

"We've been doing this for 35 years together, and I've never told him when I get out," Hayn said.

She was hit on the left side by the corn head.

"I had to go to the bathroom. That will get you in trouble every time," she said. "It's like, oh, ok. Dumbest blonde moment of my life!"
She lost her arm and leg on that side as a result. But she nearly lost everything.

"My surgeon told my husband that he didn't know if I'd make it, and I'm like, I wish you would have told me that. I would have told you I was going to make it. I knew it," she said.

Behind Hayn's quips, can-do attitude and infectious personality, she wants farmers to learn from her experience.

"I just want to prevent this for other farmers," she said.

"My husband asked me one day if this ever gets to me. 'Does this ever bother you?' I said, 'Not really,'" she said. "The only thing that bothered me was when I was home, laying on the floor at the beginning. He comes home at 10 or 11 at night from the field. Then, he's out there doing my dishes. That bothered me. Now, he's out here after working a 16-hour day and he has to do the dishes and make his own supper. That bothered me. This doesn't bother me, no."

But Hayn is thriving during therapy, never giving up as she waits for her prosthetics.

"I've had my limbs for 54 years," she said. "I probably won't live to be 100. So, OK, I made it over half. I'm good."

Be it Hayn's 'attitude, energy or faith, she's going to keep on.

"I'm going to be OK. I knew I'd move on, and it never dawned on me that I wouldn't do what I always did," she said. "This was not going to slow me down. This was not going to stop me.

"I've always had faith, but it was tenfold now compared to what it was. Because I know I'm here because of Him."

And anything is possible.

"Just being here and knowing I can go forward is a lot, because I know I'm going to hike again," Hayn said.

For more stories like this, you can watch AgDay right on WNDU Monday-Friday at 4 a.m.