Prosthetic Categories

Teen Amputee Helps Others on Their Amputee Journey

    Eighteen-year-old Minnesota-based Jed Anderson is redefining what it means to be an amputee. After a devastating farm accident left him without his left foot, Jed has not let adversity hold him back. Instead, he has used his experience to create opportunities for others facing similar challenges.

     Eighteen-year-old Jed Anderson turns to helping others with their amputee journey.

    Jed’s journey of helping others in their amputee journey began on September 14, 2020, when he got his legs entangled in an auger while working at a farm. Renville County Deputy Sheriff Andrew Hussman was the first on the scene, acting quickly with a tourniquet that saved Jed’s life. But it took a team of 42 people—first responders, paramedics, an air ambulance crew, and sheriff’s deputies—to free him from the machine and then transport him to HCMC.

    Over the course of four weeks in the hospital, Jed underwent five surgeries and made the brave decision to embrace the use of a prosthetic limb. His mother, Jana Anderson, was crucial to Jed’s recovery journey, as the family has been through this situation before. In 1968, her uncle, Jon Van Dyke, was also injured by an auger when he was just 12. Years later, he died by suicide.

    Now with Jed, Jana focused on encouraging him to stay positive and take on any activity he can think of. So, after months of fitting and training on a prosthetic limb, Jed explored various adaptive activities, such as hunting, snowmobiling, and snowboarding. But Jed ultimately found his passion while surfing on the waters of Green Lake.

    According to Jana, in an interview with KSTP-TV, getting Jed involved in a community was crucial as the entire experience of being a new amputee “can be really isolating.” Jed now meets more people through adaptive surfing, mentoring other young people who have lost limbs.

    He recently participated in the Minnesota wakesurf competition as an amateur and was the only amputee surfer. Inspired by the experience, Jed and his mother turned to organizing a section of the event dedicated solely to amputee surfers and enthusiasts from all over the US. Through their collaboration with ‘Our Heroes Tour,’ a Minnesota non-profit, and the Minnesota Wakesurf Championship, the mother-son team aims to provide supplies and teach amputees how to surf, fostering a sense of community and connection.

    Jed is an extraordinary young man who has turned tragedy into triumph. His story, along with Hussman’s role in the rescue, will be immortalized in a video produced by ‘Our Heroes Tour.’ By sharing his experiences and serving as a mentor, Jed hopes to uplift others who have lost limbs and show them that there is a life beyond their injuries.  

    As Jed continues to work on a farm in Kandiyohi County when he’s not out surfing on the water, he reminds us all of the power of resilience and the importance of surrounding ourselves with supportive friends. He is living proof that the obstacles we face do not define us but rather shape us into something greater.