Suffering through a drought is bad enough. But Doug and Maria Bichler, of Bichler Simmentals and Red Angus, Linton, N.D., had a serious farm accident to deal with at the same time. Doug lost his left arm in a baler entanglement in June. The Bichlers have been receiving help from their friends and family, their community, and ag organizations such as the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and Farm Rescue.
“I can’t even find words to describe how much it has meant,” Doug said, in an interview with radio station KFGO, Fargo, N.D., earlier this year.
“The number of individuals who have helped us in any way is well approaching 1,000,” Maria wrote in a blog on the site YouCaring.com. “Hundreds of friends, family members and complete strangers have supported us, prayed for us and aided in our recovery. For those of you who gave, and continue to give in your thoughts, prayers and Mass intentions, please know of our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all you did. You have helped more than any word could describe. And for that, we are forever thankful.”
Doing better now
Doug is back on the ranch and is doing better now. “Doug has been out and about these days,” Maria wrote in late September. “He drives himself to his ongoing physical therapy. He hops on the side-by-side to check our fall cow herd. He can travel to Fargo without his worrying wife hovering over his shoulder. He can make ranch decisions, make coffee and make his wife proud. … Some days, you'd almost think nothing is different."
The couple had their first baby in August, which for Doug has been the best pain medicine God could have prescribed, Maria wrote.
Doug may soon receive a prosthetic arm, which he hopes will allow him to continue working and ranching as he did before.
Learn more, help more
The Bichlers don’t have medical insurance. Instead, they belong to Samaritan Ministries, a national health care sharing program in which members help cover each other’s medical expenses.
To learn more about Doug’s accident and recovery, see their YouCaring.com page.