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Volunteers help local man harvest crops after medical emergency

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EDDY COUNTY, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Imagine being told you have to have emergency heart surgery in the middle of the most important time of your year.

That was the reality for a local farmer at harvest, but some volunteers came from across the country to help his family and show us how the power of a helping hand can mend a broken heart.

Gilbert Black, farmer: "So I had no time to really think about it. Everything was hurried, rushed and so on."

When the doctor told Gilbert Black he had to go through an emergency quadruple bypass, harvesting his crops is the last thing he thought about.

Gilbert: "I could've had a heart attack at any time and that would've been likely death."

Recovering from surgery, Black can't do much. And that's where Farm Rescue came in to help.

Wayland Adams, volunteer: "Harvesting crops is kind of timely, you can't just let them stand. And not let them get in the bin. So it's a great service to them."

Wayland Adams is one of several volunteers who came from across the country to help the Black Family harvest their corn.

It's a big job that would've fallen on Black's sons who have families and businesses of their own.

Gavin Black, Gilbert’s son: "We're gonna do as much as we usually do in about a fourth of the time."

Levi Wielenga, Farm Rescue: "With us being able to come in, our goal is to bridge that crisis so that the kids in the next generation can continue on, on that land and continue farming as a family."

A helping hand in a difficult situation.

Gilbert Black, farmer: "It really feels incredible. It's a really peaceful feeling knowing that there's not a lot of pressure now to try to get things completed on time."

Black says his doctor expects him to make a full recovery. Farm Rescue has helped more than 400 families in the last decade, and they are still accepting applications for people in need this harvest season. Click here if you’d like to fill out an application.