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Taber, Alta., man crushed by hay bale in critical condition

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WATCH: A southern Alberta man is in critical condition at a Calgary hospital after being crushed under a 1,000-pound hay bale for at least eight hours on Saturday night. Emily Olsen reports – Nov 5, 2019

A southern Alberta man is in critical condition at a Calgary hospital after being crushed under a 1,000-pound hay bale for at least eight hours Saturday night.

Cody Petrone was transporting hay bales from Saskatchewan to Alberta at the time, according to his mother Helen Petrone.

While Cody was unloading bales in the dark at a farm near Barons at around 10:30 p.m., his truck sank into the mud at an angle that caused most of the load to tumble down towards him, Helen explained.

Cody was found face down with his legs pinned under the weight of one bale, Helen said.

Hypothermia had fully set in by the time a farmer found him in the morning, according to Helen.

With Cody’s organs beginning to fail, STARS said it took him to Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.

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As of Tuesday, Cody was still unconscious and intubated in the ICU, suffering from kidney failure, a lung infection and a potential spinal cord injury, Helen said.

Helen said despite all of this, she still considers it a miracle that he survived.

“He’s lucky all of [the bales] didn’t fall down on him,” she said.

“Just the one bale caught him on the back of his legs. They could tell he tried to run away because he was face down. It totally crushed his legs, but the miracle is that he didn’t break his legs. There were no bones broken. And another miracle is that it wasn’t on his body so his internal organs were OK.”

Cody’s parents rushed from their home in Kelowna to visit him in the hospital, but Helen had to fly home after a couple days, leaving his father, who is currently on disability, to stay with their son.

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“We’re not in a position where we can afford for me to take more time off work,” Helen said.

“It just killed me leaving him. You put on your happy face at work, but once you get home, it’s a whole other story.”

Cody is a volunteer firefighter in the Municipal District of Taber. His fire department along with neighbouring fire departments have sent support — some even visiting Cody in hospital.

Friends of the family have set up a Go Fund Me page to help.

Helen said the outpouring of prayers and support have meant everything to their family.

“The fire department chief and captain are going to see him. It’s amazing,” she said.

“Other neighbouring fire departments are sending well wishes. It’s unbelievable, the gratitude and prayers.”

Cody’s future is unclear at this point, but his family is still hopeful that he will make a full recovery.

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