Teen who lost arms in auger accident as child meets first responders who saved him
FARGO – In just a few days, a young man from Milnor, N.D., will walk across the stage and graduate from high school. 18-year-old Parker Sebens will make the whole town proud, because about 15 years ago, the toddler nearly died in a grain auger farm accident that resulted in the amputation of both his arms.
From Sunday: After arms ripped off as a 3-year-old, Parker Sebens set to graduate
No one in Milnor will forget September 18, 2000, the day everyone and everything stopped as the town prayed for Parker's survival.
Last Tuesday, the deputies, EMS and even the Lifeflight team came to see Parker.
It was helicopter pilot Tim Vreeman who flew the trauma call to pick up Parker at the Sebens' farm near Milnor that day.
"First time since the day of the accident," Vreeman said.
"I couldn't remember him, but it's pretty cool meeting him. Without them, I wouldn't be here," Sebens said.
Like any other call, Vreeman was not aware of the nature of the trauma.
"The only thing I knew was that it was a small child, it was a trauma and that was it," Vreeman said.
"I heard the call on the radio, and there was a farm accident out there at Mitch's place," former Sargent County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Buckhouse said. "So I jumped in the car and took off."
Buckhouse, a friend of the family, lived three miles from the Sebens' farm.
"When I got there, Parker was still laying there," Buckhouse said.
He was first on scene.
"His arms were already gone," Buckhouse said.
It was a moment Buckhouse will not forget.
"I remember looking ... Parker's laying this way, with his head here, and I'm just looking at him and I'll never forget it. He looked up at me like, 'What just happened?' I didn't know what to say or do," Buckhouse said. "Every day, every day, every day I think about it. Every day."
On Tuesday, the former deputy, along with Milnor Ambulance volunteers who were there that day, joined Parker and his family at an EMS celebration in Fargo. But the highlight came when Parker was given a ride on the Sanford helicopter by the air med team. 15 years later, a ride for the fun of it.
He toured the city for awhile, saw the campus of MSUM, where he will attend next fall, and then back to the ground where we found out Parker is deathly afraid of heights. He told us he has an inner daredevil.
When Parker graduates in Milnor this weekend, the keynote speaker will be his North Memorial trauma surgeon from that day, Dr. Jennifer Harrington.