CLICK Keith & Angela – Avascular Necrosis

CLICK Keith & Angela – Avascular Necrosis

KEITH is a 40+ year old male who resides on a farm with his wife Angela in rural Sussex County, Virginia. Approximately 75 to 80% of the income in Sussex County is generated from farming. At the age of 28, for undetermined reasons, Keith suffered from Avascular Necrosis in both hips. This condition, caused by impaired blood supply to the bone, resulted in Keith’s hip bones deteriorating and becoming brittle. Keith’s first surgeon tried to correct the problem by utilizing an operation procedure called core decompression, which can spur regeneration of the bone. In this procedure, the surgeon drills out the damaged section of the bone up to the head of the femur. This opens up channels for blood vessels to reach the diseased area and foster the production of new bone. Hip pain is relieved and as many as 75% of patients avoid joint replacement later on. However, the procedure did not work for Keith, so his only other option was to have a double hip replacement to correct the problem. Keith farms and raises corn, soybeans, wheat, and twenty head of beef cattle on 1800 acres of land. He has been medically advised not to climb ladders, which makes it impossible for him to climb the narrow steps on his three grain bins to check the level of grain in the bins and the moisture content and temperature. So he has to contact someone to come out to his farm to climb the grain bins for him. Keith also has three tractors with high steps that make it unsafe and uncomfortable for him to climb on and off. Keith learned about AgrAbility and the service we offer while he was attending a field demonstration gathering at which AgrAbility had an exhibit and made a presentation about AgrAbility. Keith did not make himself known at the gathering, but called AgrAbility Service Coordinator, Joe Young, a couple of weeks later, and shared that he has a double hip replacement that limits his ability to climb the ladders on his grain bins and wanted to know if AgrAbility could do something to help his situation. AgrAbility Project Coordinator, Kirk Ballin, and Joe Young met with Keith on his farm and conducted an on-farm assessment of his needs. In conjunction with Keith, goals were set to: acquire a step system that would allow Keith to walk up steps to access his grain bins, instead of climbing narrow ladders; acquire a system that would allow him to check the grain bins temperature, moisture content, and grain level from ground level; modify tractor steps on three of his tractors. AgrAbility made a referral to the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) counselor, Dolores Heisler, in the Richmond, Virginia office. Dolores made an assessment of Keith’s situation and determined that he qualified for DARS assistance. Keith’s case was assigned to DARS Occupational Therapist, John Allen, and DARS Engineer, Michael Anderson, to work with Keith to make the modifications necessary to make his work easier, accessible, and safer. DARS installed a set of steps to one grain bin and installed and connected the newly installed steps to a catwalk across the top area of the other two grain bins so Keith can now walk up once and then walk across to the other two grain bins to limit his having to climb up and down stets to check each grain bin. DRS also furnished three rigid mount step kits for three of his tractors. AgrAbility referred Keith to the Newell Fund to seek a loan for purchasing an Utility Vehicle, which would allow him to get in and out of tight places on his farm. The Newell Fund approved Keith for a Telework Loan. Telework loans are made to applicants who already have an existing business. Keith said, prior to buying the Gator, when he took soil samples, he would ride on the tailgate of his pickup truck and take soil samples while his father drove the truck, which was not safe or a pleasant ride. With the Gator UTV 4×4, he is able to take the soil samples himself as he drives it along. He takes the samples and reaches back and place them in a bucket on the dump area of the Gator without having to get out of the driver’s seat. He also has installed a grain spreader on the back of the Gator that allows him to apply seed and do light fertilizing. Keith said, the process for acquiring the loan to buy the Gator is the easiest process he has ever experienced. He said, the people at Newell really seem like they want to help people.The bin and tractor modifications and the acquisition of the Gator have not only allowed him to be able to do his work, but have made it easier and safer. Keith is very pleased and thankful for the assistance that AgrAbility, DARS, and the Newell Fund have given him. He just wishes that more people would take advantage of the help that AgrAbility offers.