ROBBINSDALE, Minn. - Like all recent high school graduates Ross Henderson is getting ready to start a new chapter in his life.
But he never expected it would begin with a terrible farm accident. Last week the 18-year-old was working at a feed mill when his foot got caught in an auger.
"It just sucked my leg right in. I started grabbing holding on to what I could to pull myself and eventually I got myself out. But all that was left was just this much and the rest was just skin," Henderson said.
The damage was so severe he was taken to North Memorial Hospital where his left leg was amputated. The accident may have taken his limb but not his humor.
"That was the next thing I was worried about was my butt going in," he said laughing.
Surrounded by co-workers, friends and family Henderson is getting ready for his big comeback.
"It's just so wonderful to see how good he is and the spirits he's in," Wayne Witt, a colleague who rushed to pull Henderson out of the auger, said.
"He's stronger than I am. I was crying the whole way up here," Eric Wright, a neighbor and co-worker said.
The road to recovery will be a long one for Henderson. The former athlete must struggle through 30 minutes of physical therapy twice a day and wait up to six weeks for a prosthetic.
"My mom, she's a personal trainer, and she doesn't even kick my butt this hard," Henderson laughed.
"To see the strength, stamina, the endurance and the range of motion he has so soon after such a traumatic event it's just phenomenal," Beth Henderson, Ross Henderson's mom, said.
Henderson said he may be stuck in a wheel chair for a while but nothing will stop him from standing again.
A fund has been set up to help Henderson at Ormsby State Bank under his name. Donations can be sent to the bank's address at P.O. Box 518, Ormsby, MN 56162.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)