On May 9, 1993 — Mother’s Day that year — I suffered a life-changing accident with an overturned Ford tractor. The steering wheel crushed my right arm. The hood crushed my rib cage and punctured my right lung, and the impact lacerated my liver.
Over the past 20 years, I have tried to say thank you to those who assisted in helping me not only survive this accident, but even thrive from it. Of course, my family and friends have received the most and repetitive thanks.
Thanks to Lonsdale Fire and Rescue, New Prague Ambulance, the staff at the Queen of Peace Hospital in New Prague and Life Link Air Ambulance Service, too.
Additional thanks go out to the Hennepin County Medical Center. After 28 days, a limb reattachment, muscle transfers, skin grafts, staples and plates, I walked out to learn to be lefthanded in a righthanded world. I am so grateful! (I wonder where those students are 20 years later?)
Thank you to my previous employer, Crown Cork and Seal Co. Inc. of Faribault, and to Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 480 for helping to put me on the path I am currently walking.
I am the safety and health lead at Syngenta Seeds Inc. in Amboy, Minn. — so, as I tell people, I got into safety by accident.
To the others who have helped me on my way: Thank you!
Tom Klaras, Amboy, Minn.