Hillsboro farmer thankful for help during long ordeal
Although it has been a rough 10 months for rural Hillsboro farmer Glen Ensz since he fell off a 30-foot grain bin Oct. 30, he is thankful for friends and neighbors who came to his assistance since the accident.
Ensz landed on his feet when he fell, fracturing the large bones in both heels. He also fractured his left wrist and two vertebrae in the lumbar area of his spine.
“My wife and my daughter found me lying on the ground and they called 911,” Ensz said. “I never lost consciousness when I fell. I remember hearing the ambulance coming on the yard but once they started working on me, it was all kind of a blur.”
Ensz was taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, where he stayed more than three weeks. Then was sent to rehabilitation until being released Dec. 13.
His neighbors were quick to step up to help with the farm. Although his wheat was planted for the winter, the neighbors told his 22-year-old son, Clarke, to call on them any time he needed help.
The fall harvest of corn and soybeans was finished with their assistance.
“When this was going on I was fully expecting to be able to do my spring work,” Ensz said.
That’s not the way it turned out.
“About the time they took the sutures out of my right foot, it started swelling,” he said. “I went back and they cleaned it all out and stitched it back up, and then when they took those stitches out it all started swelling again.”
After a third round of removing stitches, cleaning out, and swelling again, his orthopedic surgeon told Ensz he needed to make a choice. He could have the wound cleaned and stitched again or have his right foot amputated.
“The orthopedic surgeon told me what I was up against,” he said. “He said I was going to probably have to have it amputated. My wife and I had to make the decision to have it amputated. Deciding to have a tree cut down and deciding to have a foot amputated are not the same.”
His primary care physician told him there was no guarantee he would ever be able to walk on that foot again.
In April the leg was amputated halfway up to the knee.
A pathology report later confirmed the decision was correct. The foot had gangrene.
“I got my prosthetic foot on June 9,” Ensz said. “Now I had to start learning to walk on my left leg as it was my only leg, and it was very weak. Now my left leg and left foot get very tired. It’s the leg I do most of my balancing with.”
He went from using a walker to using a cane, and now gets around without the cane.
Throughout the ordeal, friends, neighbors, and church members also provided financial help.
“Some people gave money directly to us, some gave to Go Fund Me, and some gave to our church,” Ensz said.
As his wife was going through bank statements, she learned one Marion County farm family had made a significant deposit to their bank account.
Ensz said that when looking at the big picture, he realizes there are a lot of people who would have gladly traded places with him.
“I have my health, I have my wife and kids,” he said. “There are a lot of people who have a lot worse happen to them and don’t have the support group that I had.
“I wouldn’t use the term that I got lucky, I’d just say I have a lot to be thankful for, looking at all the things that happen to people.”
Last modified Aug. 20, 2020