As a farmer and rancher, Jeff Raymer spends his days doing hard physical labor. As an amputee missing his right leg 4 in. above the knee, Raymer needs a prosthetic leg that can handle tasks like feeding cattle, harvesting crops or driving a tractor.
For the 40-year-old Chadron, NE, man, that means a new $60,000 microprocessor knee and the prosthetic socket vacuum suspension system that he was fitted with in December.
Together, they create a prosthetic that responds more like the leg he lost in 2008, as he maneuvers with it through a corral full of cows or across a deeply rutted frozen field of winter wheat.
"I like this thing a lot better than the old one. This one works better," said the plainspoken but irrepressible Raymer, a divorced father of three who recently took an off-farm mechanics job in McCook, NE, to make ends meet.