Community raises thousands to help Eathorpe farmer buy bionic arm

Andy Webster after the accident. Photo submitted.
Andy Webster after the accident. Photo submitted.

A farmer who lost an arm in a freak accident could be in line for a state-of-the-art prosthesis after a fundraising campaign helped bring in more than £20,000.

Andrew Webster, 44, had to have his right arm amputated after he slipped into machinery while baling hay on a farm in Eathorpe.

Andy Webster before the accident. Photo supplied.

Andy Webster before the accident. Photo supplied.

Despite several rounds of surgery – with one operation lasting in excess of 15 hours – Mr Webster was back at work just three weeks later and is continuing to recover.

We ran a story about the fundraising appeal in July.

Read more: Fundraising campaign started after Eathorpe farmer loses arm in tragic accident
And now the online fundraiser has brought in more than double its initial £10,000 target after well-wishers rallied round to help Mr Webster take one step closer to his new arm.

The appeal to help pay for the arm – currently only available in the United States – was launched by family friend Allie Miles, who said the response had been “fantastic”.

“We set up the fundraising page within days of the accident and we’ve had such a brilliant response to it,” she said.

“Because he is so well-known, everyone says this is exactly what we want to do to help. It reached a lot of people that were really touched by the story which was lovely.”

Ms Miles said the money continued to come in and that around £50,000-60,000 would likely be needed overall to pay for the arm and travel to the United States.

The prosthesis was recommended by Mr Webster’s surgeon, who has previously worked with war veterans injured in conflict zones such as Afghanistan.

“We can keep it going,” Ms Miles added. “We have ideas for future events so it’s not just going to stop. He’s just such a lovely guy. He helps everybody – that’s why everybody said yes I’ll give. People just wanted to help him back.”

Mr Webster said he was thrilled by the public’s response but admitted it was “definitely weird”.

“It’s surprising what people think of you,” he said. “It’s very weird when you have never really asked for anything and all of a sudden people are going, here’s this donation, here’s that donation.

“All my farming mates have rallied around because that’s what you do.”

Mr Webster said he was adapting to life without his arm but that it made even basic tasks like pulling up trousers much more difficult, especially being right-handed.

“Picking up a bag of corn with one arm is hard work,” he added. “You try and use your legs. You adapt round it but it’s weird.”

A new arm would make the world of difference, he said. “I’m looking forward to that moment because you could have an arm back and get on with things.”

To make a donation click here