- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

MERCER, N.D. (AP) - Emma Fischer is only 4 years old and she has an important job at home: She’s her dad’s leg.

Morgen Fischer, 8, has an important role, too, when she’s not at school: She’s her dad’s arm.

This spirit of helpfulness is how Matt Fischer’s daughters are coping with the farm accident that cost their dad his left arm below his elbow and his left leg below mid-thigh.

The girls fetch and do small favors during this time while Matt Fischer sorts out just how exactly to make a prosthetic arm and leg work for him.

One of those would be challenge; two, well, it’s beyond what most could imagine.

Farm accidents are like that.

One late afternoon in mid-November, Matt Fischer, 36, was just a guy, contentedly puttering around in the shop, oiling the chains on the haystack mover in preparation for storing it over the winter.

The chains were moving and so was a coupler, joined with bolts that protruded about an inch-and-a-half from the coupler piece.

Suddenly, one of the bolts caught the front of his heavy coat, twisting his body. In an instant, his leg was thrown up into the toothy chains and his arm was wrapped around the shaft.

He recalls this in his mind’s eye while his gaze rests on Emma murmuring and playing dolls and toys in the living room of the family’s new house on the farm three miles south of Mercer.

“It was getting tighter, tighter, tighter and I thought, ‘Boy, this would be it. It can’t be it.’ There was all kinds of pressure,” he told The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1epXhUF).

Just that fast, he dropped out of the equipment to the floor of the shop. “I got loose when my arm ripped off,” he said.

“I laid there and assessed the situation, thinking, ‘What have I got left?’” he said.

He knew his arm was gone and his leg was in horrible condition.

He crawled to the pickup, thankful the bleeding was not heavy, and managed to drive himself to the farmhouse where his mother, Rose Fischer, lives.

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