MINNEOTA - Grant Moorse had just moved a tractor and feed wagon out of the machine shed on his family's farm Feb. 15 and was back in the shed plugging in another tractor when it happened.
"Just crash, crash," he said. "Looked up and things started to come down pretty fast."
Grant ran for the big door at the south end and managed to get out before a quarter of the large shed's roof collapsed, bringing down a lot of snow with it.
"I didn't dare call my dad at first," the high school senior said. "I waited 45 minutes to a hour before I called him. I didn't know how to tell him."
"We were in Marshall for the tax appraiser when Grant called," said his father, Greg Moorse. "He was still shaking."
After ascertaining his son was uninjured and finding out the damage could have been a lot worse, all Greg Moorse could do was call people and ask for help - again.
"It's been one challenge after the next," Moorse said.
It started April 17 when he fell off a tractor.
"Fell flat on my back and broke my back," said Moorse. "Good thing I had my phone with me when I fell because I couldn't move."
Doctors wanted Moorse to take it easy while his back healed. It didn't.
"After the state fair, I just didn't feel right," he said, and went to Sioux Falls for tests. "The vertebrae were pushing back in the spinal cord. There's four layers to it and they were through two layers. That's when they said you should schedule surgery sooner rather than later."
The surgery was scheduled for Nov. 16, but it was pushed back to Nov. 23 because Moorse wanted to get the field work done first.
"I was good enough to do it," he said, with family and "some friends helping that week."
He spent 12 days in the hospital while friends and neighbors worked the cattle and hauled manure.
"Everything seemed to be going pretty good," Moorse said, until the end of the year.
"Day before New Year's, everyone else got the stomach flu. I got it the next day. I felt like something busted open inside," he said.
He kept the check-up scheduled for Jan. 12. Tests were run and on Jan. 20, he was back for a spinal tap to check for infection. There wasn't any infection, but 400 CCs of spinal fluid was drawn off. Surgery was performed Feb. 1 and Moorse spent the next eight and a half days laying flat.
"That sucked," he said.
Drawing off 10 CCs of spinal fluid every hour "was a torture session," until the medical staff made some adjustments so they weren't hitting a nerve anymore. Adjustments have been made to his blood pressure medicine to control the "terrible headaches" he experienced. He's had more spinal taps and gotten the staples and stitches out.
"They said I should've been paralyzed three times, yet," he said. He will be wearing his body shell for at least two more months and he has titanium rods and pins in his back. "I'll never be able to bend like I used to."
Moorse was hoping there would be no more set-backs, then he got the call from his son.
"I couldn't believe it because we'd built it for a heavy snow load," Moorse said, adding they had checked the rafters for bowing. "We were terribly fortunate. Nobody got hurt, no major damage to equipment. It's a miracle, to be honest.
"I'm kind of a control freak and I was at the complete mercy of everyone else," he said. "When the machine shed went down, there was nothing I could do. Just reach for my phone and make calls.
"First one I called was Andy Weber. Needed somebody good with livestock," he said.
Moorse called his brother, Bernie, and Curt Buysse "and they started bracing so nothing else fell down," Moorse said.
He and his wife, Becky, had to go to Sioux Falls the next day for another doctor's appointment. "Before we left, people started showing up," Moorse said.
"I thought it was pretty amazing," Moorse said. "It went down on Monday and we had it back up (the next) Monday. We had it ripped apart and back up in one week."
Among those who helped were Troy, Harold and John DeSmet, Eric Buysse, Curt Buysse and his crew, Josh Brewers, Tavin Sonnenburg, Shawn Lozinski, Donny Schuelke, Mike Dorenkamper, Chris Gregor, Josh Nelson, Dave Boulton, Wade Gillund, Cory Buysse, Tom Buetel, Doug Devlaminck, Tony Opdahl, and a bunch of Grant's friends.
People sent cards and food.
"Couldn't fit it all in the fridge," Moorse said. "Teachers at St. Ed's (Catholic School, where the younger Moorse children attend) put together meals and sent them for, must've been a week. So many people, I don't know how you'd list everybody. This winter, we've had a ton of help. I don't know how we'd do it without them.
"You don't know until something happens how much you value your family and friends. Pretty rich with all the friends and family we've got," he added. "We have to have a party," Moorse said. "I don't know how else to thank everybody."