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Minnesota hunter has leg amputated after rifle went off unexpectedly

The Dassel man suffered severe damage and faces a lengthy road to recovery.

The Minnesota hunter whose rifle went off while he climbed a deer stand had to have his injured leg amputated.

The 38-year-old from Dassel suffered the inadvertent gunshot wound around 2:40 p.m. Friday, while hunting in Kingston Township, the Meeker County Sheriff's Office said. Since then, loved ones have identified the man as Mike Hendrickson, setting up a CaringBridge page to provide updates and a GoFundMe to generate financial support for the family.

The projectile went into Hendrickson's left thigh as he was climbing the tree stand, causing him to fall to the ground, the pages explain. He applied a tourniquet while his nephew went to get help, and he was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center via LifeLink.

But initial procedures began to reveal the extent of the damage: significant tissue damage and the loss of part of his femur, which was shattered by the projectile. After some consultations and treatments, things weren't improving the way they had hoped, and on Monday Hendrickson underwent initial amputation surgery.

"Moving forward an amputation will give him the best quality of life, reduce the risk of infection, and minimize the amount of pain," the family shared on CaringBridge. "The vascular doctors found some very concerning spots that confirmed that this IS the best way to move forward."

They also shared an X-ray of the damage to the femur, which we will link to here so the squeamish can avoid. 

Complicating things further, the family said Hendrickson tested positive for COVID and cannot have any visitors. 

The GoFundMe was created to help support Hendrickson "as he begins the very long road to recovery that will require multiple surgeries, weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation." 

The page says: "Our family wants Mike to focus on getting better and not have him troubled with worry on how to get there. Mike has always been the kind of person who will drop everything to help a person in need; friend, family and strangers alike. Our family wants to reciprocate that spirit of giving for Mike. Anything you can do to assist will be greatly appreciated."

It has so far brought in about $8,000 of a $20,000 goal.

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