BOONE COUNTY, Ind. – For a firefighter, helping others is in the job description, but for Lloyd Hayden, it’s in his blood.
“He’d give you the shirt off his back,” said Lebanon Deputy Fire Chief Robert Wirey. “And then go buy you two more.”
At 72 years old, the former ironworker and army veteran is well-known throughout his small farming community.
“He’s just a hard working farmer, you know,” said Lebanon fire chief and Lloyd’s son-in-law Chuck Batts. “That mentality of you go out and you work. He’s not retired at 72, he goes out to work every day.”
That’s what made Monday’s call for the Lebanon fire department so hard.
“It was a bad run, it really was,” said Deputy Chief Michael Baird. “It didn’t matter how experienced you where or how much time you’ve had on or what you’ve seen.”
Hayden was in his field when a combine driver didn’t see him, and ran him over. Batts got the call, and immediately responded, knowing his father-in-law was in bad shape.
“I was sitting down to lunch with my wife, and she received a phone call from her mother that Lloyd was caught in the combine,” Batts said. “So I immediately started to the scene, I called both the deputy chiefs of Lebanon fire and asked them to start that way, and I also started engine 12.”
Lloyd’s legs were caught in the machine. In order to save his life, the team had to make the difficult decision to amputate both of his legs right there in his field.
“That was pretty tough for everybody to go through, especially knowing Lloyd and knowing what kind of a man he is,” said Baird. “Knowing what was happening, it was just awful to be honest with you.”
“It was tough knowing that it was Lloyd,” said Batts. “Field amputations are something that you read about, you don’t see a lot of them. I’ve been in the fire service for 22 years and I’ve never been part of a field amputation.”
The firefighters and friends say Hayden was conscious nearly the entire time, and never complained about what was happening.
“The way he handled it, I mean he didn’t say a word… didn’t acknowledge anything, just took it like a man,” said Baird. “He (another first responder) asked him what his pain was on a scale of 10, he said 3. I mean, if you can picture what’s going on down here and he says 3? I probably would’ve said 30.”
Just days later, the community is rallying together to help one of their own. In between calls, members of the fire department are building a new wheelchair ramp for Hayden’s home.
“That’s what we do you know,” said Wirey. “We help each other out.”
Family and friends say Hayden will be back on the farm soon, because with community faith, and a Lloyd Hayden work ethic, anything is possible.
“At least Lloyd is the kind of person, he’s not a quitter,” Baird said “He’ll overcome it.”
Batts said Hayden hopes to be fitted for prosthetic legs and a wheelchair. Batts believes he’ll be back out in the field farming next year.
If you would like to help the family, there is a bank fund set up by the family. The “Lloyd Hayden Family Fund” is set up through Home National Bank. Donations can be mailed or taken to the Lebanon, or Thorntown Branch.
There is also a GoFundMe run by the family, and you can find it HERE.