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West-central Minnesota mom loses arm in tractor accident

Sam Lindquist was trying to mow a dirt-bike trail for her sons.

A Minnesota farm family is dealing with the aftermath of a devastating accident that left a woman with a life-changing injury this week. 

Sam Lindquist, a west-central Minnesota mother of two, lost her arm as the result of a tractor rollover on Tuesday afternoon. 

According to a CaringBridge page set up on her behalf, she was attempting to mow a dirt-bike path for her sons when "the tractor went over a mound and she could feel the ground getting soft" under her tires — at which point she realized the vehicle was tipping. 

It rolled over her at least two times, leaving her with severe trauma to her right arm. She was "screaming for help," but "was too far away for anyone to hear," the profile says.

"Somehow, powered by adrenaline and with the help of guardian angels, Sam freed herself and walked 200 feet to the lake trail road," where she was discovered by one of her sons. The boy fetched his grandmother, a registered nurse, who "went into ER nurse mode" in treating Lindquist's wounds and getting her to a hospital in Elbow Lake. 

Lindquist was eventually airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, where she underwent an emergency surgery to remove her badly damaged right arm a few inches below the shoulder. 

A CT scan also found a broken right hip and broken left arm, wrist, and ring finger, though luckily there was no major internal organ damage.

There was a second surgery to "clean up" the amputation and assess her hip fracture, and a third surgery is pending. Lindquist remains hospitalized in the meantime.

Her community is now rallying around her, with the Lakes Area Alpine Ski Team — which she serves as treasurer — posting the following on its Facebook page:

Tractor accidents are a major problem on the farm. According to the National Ag Safety Database (NASD), tractor overturns — when tractors roll over — "are the leading cause of fatal injuries on US farms," with an average of 130 deaths annually. 

The site also says 80 percent of such deaths involve experienced operators. One in seven farmers in tractor overturns are left permanently disabled. 

Tractors are prone to rollovers because of their high center of gravity, NASD notes. 

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