As an Assaria man continues his recovery from a farm accident in October, friends and family are doing what they can to help.
A spaghetti dinner and auction Sunday at Southeast of Saline High School brought in $57,000 to support Zachary Short and his family, said Skylar Hanson, a former classmate of Zach’s and friend of his wife, Jodi.
“We’re just trying to relieve some of the burden,” Hanson said. “We want to help in any way we can so they can focus on rehabilitation and getting him better and getting him home.”
Jill Ade and Alex Weller organized the event, at which about 800 plates of spaghetti were served, and about 160 items were purchased during silent and live auctions conducted by auctioneer Curt Marshall. Other volunteers included Hanson, Nancy Scanlan, Sandy Kruse, Shelbey Kohman, Lori Blake, and head cook, Debbie Murphy.
“We were just blown away by people’s generosity last night,” Hanson said.
She said one person purchased a doll house for $700 and then donated it back for the Shorts’ young daughter, Brynlee.
$10,000 in November
In November, a chicken-and-noodle feed was attended by about 600 people and raised around $12,000, she said. Other fundraising efforts have included T-shirt sales and a paintball event, as well as donations collected at banks and online.
Jodi Short wrote in a message to the Journal that Zach and she are both deeply grateful for all of the support they are receiving from people all over the area.
“The fundraisers and support are unbelievable! It brings us to tears,” she wrote.
Jodi Short said Zach is expected to be in Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for Christmas. On Monday he was undergoing his 10th surgery since the accident.
50 percent of body burned
Short, 24, was electrically shocked and more than 50 percent of his body was burned Oct. 25, while he and others were harvesting a soybean field near the intersection of Ohio Street and Farrelly Road. An auger on a grain cart came in contact with power lines along the edge of the field, sparking a fire. Short was shocked when he touched the electrified grain cart and tractor as he attempted to deliver a fire extinguisher from a service truck.
Since then, he has had portions of both legs amputated. Two weeks ago he was transferred from a Wichita hospital to the St. Louis hospital, where doctors are working to save most of his left hand, which came into direct contact with the electrified farm equipment, Jodi said.
Grateful he’s alive
Prayers are making a difference for Zach, and he is maintaining a positive outlook, she said.
“We can’t even put into words how truly thankful we are!” she wrote. “He is alive, and he is grateful for that, so that keeps him positive!”