Life isn’t designed to be easy – but sometimes it can be much more testing than others.
Lane Unhjem, a North Dakota farmer of canola and durum wheat, knows all too well what it’s like to face unexpected times of difficulty.
He experienced a double whammy of problems when harvesting early in September – first, his combine harvester caught fire, and then, while he was putting it out, he experienced severe chest pain.
It turned out that Lane was having a heart attack, and he somehow managed to sense that his symptoms were too severe to simply be a result of the stress from putting out the fire.
After being rushed to hospital, Lane was told by doctors that he’d be out of action for the foreseeable future.
He felt grateful to be alive, but concerned about the state of his crops. He was supposed to be harvesting them, not lying in a hospital bed.
He’d lose out on thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours of hard work, if his crops were left to die in his fields.
But Lane had no reason to worry. He didn’t know it at the time, but a group of local farmers had already joined together after hearing of Lane’s hospital stay.
The kindhearted farmers harvested Lane’s crops for him, using their own machinery to get the job done.
One farmer who was involved in the work, Don Anderson, shared a post to Facebook that explained in detail how the farmers had helped out one of their own. He wrote:
“Now that Lanes [sic] health is being taken care of, it came time for his friends and neighbors to spring into action, which is common in small town life. Approximately 40 to 50 farmers, driving combines, pulling grain carts, driving semis and various other harvest related items, converged on the Unhjem farmstead and they will take care of harvest for Lane and his family today. I believe there was about a dozen combines involved.
“The Unhjems have a beautiful crop that will be safe in the bins today, and more importantly they have the comfort of knowing that they have a community of friends that are helping, praying and doing whatever they can to help them get through this tough time.
“What a great sense of pride we can all have knowing that when we face something like this, we’re not alone.”
Don updated his post to say that the team managed to finish 1000 acres in just over 7 hours. What teamwork!
Jenna Binde, a family friend of Lane’s, said in an interview with Western Journal that once word had got out about Lane’s heart attack, it spread “like wildfire”, and the community joined together to support him within hours. She said:
“Everybody knows the Unhjems, and they’re good people and good in the community, and just kind of the farming way of life too. You help your neighbor out when they need it, and don’t expect anything in return.”
Not only did the local farmers give up their time to help a fellow farmer in need, there was also a fundraiser set up for Lane to support him and his family while he recovered.
The aim of the fundraiser is to provide Lane with some financial aid to help him cover his medical bills.
So far, an impressive $10,000 has been raised out of the $50,000 target.
Thanks to the selfless actions of his kind-hearted neighbors, Lane can recover at his own pace, without the worry about what might happen to his crops.
You can learn more about Lane’s story by watching the video below.
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