CLICK John – Ankle & Foot Injury

CLICK John – Ankle & Foot Injury

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JOHN, and his wife Sarah, live outside McDowell in Highland County. Together, they have raised horses, cattle and hay on 105 open acres. They market Certified Humane beef and can be reached at againstthewindranch.com. In the fall of 2009, John had a motorcycle crash resulting in a severe injury to his left ankle and foot. After surgery, John ended up at Wilson Workforce and ┬áRehabilitation Center for rehab therapy. Cynthia Kelley, John’s Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services Counselor, contacted AgrAbility, to see if we could be of service to John. The persistent pain of his injury was making it very difficult for John to perform his chores on the ranch, including riding his horse to work his cattle, and corralling and treating his cattle. The latter chore required a great deal of climbing, jumping, pushing and pulling, because his coral system was board fencing and aging chutes and gates. John was even considering abandoning ranching/farming all together. Steve Bridge and Kirk Ballin, with AgrAbility, along with DARS Staff, Cindy Kelley and DARS George Drummond, visited John’s ranch to make an assessment of what might be done to make John’s situation less difficult and more productive. It was determined that John’s problem with riding his horse was not something DARS could tackle, but addressing the inadequacies and challenges of his chutes and gates was solvable. Steve consulted with the County Extension Agent, Rodney Leech, and the Augusta County Co-operative and Cindy met with suppliers at the Rockingham County Beef Expo. Eventually, with financial assistance from DARS, a new system of chutes and gates was purchased, and installed. The results eliminated any climbing or jumping that John had to do when working his cattle through the coral, and reduced the amount of pressure he had to put on his foot when operating the gates and chutes. John will also be installing 5 electric gates around the property to eliminate the frequent mounting and dismounting required opening and closing gates. John said the equipment installations have made his work much easier and safer and he is very grateful to DARS and AgrAbility for all that was accomplished. Special thanks to Cindy Kelley, with DARS/WWRC, for making this all happen!