North Dakota farm boy who lost arms graduating high school

Farm Forum

MILNOR, N.D. (AP) — An 18-year-old North Dakota boy who lost both arms in a farm accident 15 years ago is graduating high school and preparing for college in Minnesota.

Parker Sebens fell into a running grain auger on the family farm near Milnor, in far southeastern North Dakota, in September 2000, when he was 3 years old. He spent 54 days in a medical center near Minneapolis, where he went through more than 50 hours of surgery before an infection forced doctors to amputate his arms.

Even without prosthetic arms, Sebens can still do things like driving and texting, using the remaining stumps of his arms.

“People can feel sorry for me, but I think that goes away after they see how much I can do,” he told KSTP-TV ( ).

He even shoots pool with his dad, Mitch Sebens.

“He kept impressing us all the way through; he just learned one thing after another,” his father said. “When I think about it, it’s hard to think about what he’s had to go through growing up when the other kids had it so easy, but he did it.”

Parker Sebens soon will be getting two prosthetic arms, then heading off to college at Minnesota State University Moorhead. After college, he’d like to become a motivational speaker.

Mother Rene Sebens is finishing a scrapbook for her son as his graduation day nears.

“I thought for a long time he was going to die there, I really did,” she said. “I guess I just wanted everyone to know he’s living it and accomplishing everything that we want him to.”

Family, friends and even strangers have helped him immensely as he’s grown up, Parker Sebens said. He’s gotten thousands of cards and letters over the years and they keep coming.

“They really just push me to get everything done,” he said. “I just wish there was just a way to give back to everyone.”

Parker Sebens said he has been determined throughout his life to find ways to do the things he wants to do. Aside from cooking and laundry, there is very little he can’t do.

“Every day he amazes me,” Mitch Sebens said.