Farmer recovering from accident

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By Linda Ireland

A LaRue County farmer has a long path to recovery after being caught in a self-propelled silage chopper last month.

Gary Rock was working in a field on Slack Road in Roanoke on the evening of Aug. 29. The chopper clogged with corn stalks and Rock apparently attempted to remove the clog by kicking at it. He was pulled into the cutter.

One leg was amputated at the scene. The other was removed at University Hospital.

He’s had several surgeries and will need more.

Chris Loyall, said his father-in-law went to Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville last week and will be there for a short time as he learns to get around in a wheelchair. He’ll be able to return home for a brief period and return to rehab to be fitted for prosthetic limbs.

“He’ll be there two-to-three weeks that time,” said Loyall.

Learning to walk with artificial legs is a “process,” he said. He’ll learn how to stand, get his balance and take steps, and maneuver stairs and ramps.

The last part is learning to move the knee joint.

Loyal said his father-in-law was in good spirits and having an “unbelievable” recovery. Friends and family have rallied around him.

“He’ll really need people when he comes home,” said Loyall.

The family’s dairy farm was hit by a June 26 tornado that flattened their barn and killed and injured several cows. The cows were taken to a dairy in Columbia so they could be milked. They were returned to the Rock farm just days before the injury occurred.