St. Martin farmer helped by neighbors after farm accident

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 11/11/97.

Friends, neighbors and relatives of Allen and Athleen Dingman, rural St. Martin, came together to help them after Allen had an accident that put him in the hospital.

Allen lost four fingers on his left hand in a farm accident on Oct. 11, while chopping corn silage. He was taken to the Paynesville Area Hospital, then transferred to Regions Hospital, St. Paul. Doctors were able to reattach one of his fingers. He is still hospitalized and is fighting an infection.

On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, about 20 friends and neighbors chopped and unloaded corn into silos for Dingmanís wife, Athleen. Work started early Saturday morning and continued until everything was finished Sunday evening. In all, six tractors came out to the Dingman farm, a six-row corn chopper with tractor, five silage boxes and a blower.

Some friends ran errands and delivered supper to the men in the field. The Tel-Stars 4-H Club and family members helped with preparing and serving the food.

On Nov 10, neighbors and friends returned to clean out the manure pit and start fall plowing.

The Dingmans expressed their thanks to friends from St. Catherineís Parish in Farming, the Tel-Stars 4-H Club, friends, neighbors and especially their family for helping out during this time of crisis.

ďFriends and neighbors have been helping out whenever possible since the accident. Our Russian exchange student, Roman Shinkarev, has been very helpful,Ē Athleen said. ďWithout everybodyís help and support, we would never have been able to manage.Ē

Athleen reports her husband is expected to return home sometime this week. He had developed an infection in his left hand and has needed to return to surgery three times.

Allen will not be able to return to doing farm chores for quite some time. A fund has been set up at the Farmers and Merchants State Bank in Paynesville to help with the medical bills. Anyone interested in helping the family can drop off their donations at the bank.

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