King’s Material worker shares story

A man stuck in a conveyor belt has defied the medical odds, and is now back home with his family.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 6:40 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - For a man who nearly lost his life, he’s become a medical miracle.

Derek Oldfather, 31-year-old, was identified as the man stuck in a conveyor belt at King’s Material last month, has now returned home from the hospital in good spirits.

“She’s like it’s truly a miracle to see that you’re here and not only that you’re here two weeks after, but you’re walking in here. I’m like there’s nothing to it but to do it,” Oldfather remembered.

During the accident Oldfather’s leg had to be amputated before being airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospital. It was a tricky situation according to the mobile surgical team from Iowa City.

“Essentially from the time we arrived there to the time we got him loaded into the helicopter it was an hour. The goal once we got there was to get the patient out as quickly as possible,” Dr. Patrick McGonagill said.

Once Oldfather had been freed from the conveyor, and en route to the hospital, his caretaker, Cindy Hanson, had no idea how bad the situation was.

“When he got to Iowa City, they zipped him right to surgery, so we didn’t get to see him until 9:30/10 o’clock that night,” Hanson said.

Two revision surgeries later and Oldfather was discharged from the hospital, heading back home to his family. He now has a long road of recovery ahead, starting with physical therapy sessions to get the remainder of his leg ready for a prosthetic.

According to OSHA, the incident at King’s Material is ongoing.