The One-Legged Wonder: Metge family continues adjusting to life two years later.
Two years ago, Abbie Metge lost her leg in a tractor accident. Since then, she and her family have learned to overcome tragedy with the help of the community.
It was on Memorial Day weekend of 2019 when Abbie, then ten years old, lost her leg. After the initial shock of the accident had passed, her parents, Russ and Michelle, learned just how much had to change in their household. Michelle said, “There is a lot of adjusting you need. Just about any system you have to run a home smoothly had to be completely torn down and recreated. Her bed was the top bunk when we left […] we had to move bedrooms around and readjust and readjust some more. I think we’re finally getting into a rhythm.”
While they were juggling the needs of their family, Russ and Michelle also had to consider the financial strain the accident placed on them. But it did not take long before local businesses held fundraisers, and members of the community started a GoFundMe page, to ease that financial burden.
Russ said, “That was huge, she definitely felt, we all felt, the kind of love and support from everybody, but also the financial burden was lifted because of some of the support that [everybody] pitched in which allowed us to have a whole summer together as a family without having to really worry about any stress of work. We could just kind of heal.” Michelle added, “And we could just say yes to Abbie, whatever she wanted.”
Rather than giving money, some people donated things they knew Abbie would appreciate. Russ said, “She loves crafts and stuff, and we have a drawer still to this day […] filled with craft supplies that were donated to her.”
Prior to Abbie’s accident, multiple people in the Metge’s church congregation suffered the sudden loss of loved ones. As they reached out and tried to support those in need, they learned how to receive support from others. Russ said, “That kind of helped us not feel like we were a burden to people because we know what it was like to be on the other end, wanting to help.” He continued, “We remembered those times when we wanted to help so badly, and so we made it a thing where we’re not going to turn down help.”
They also turned to faith and their church for help during difficult moments. Russ said, “Having faith in a higher being, and also having some knowledge of life and what it means, that helps a lot.”
Support from the community has not stopped in the time since the accident. Russ said, “I still feel like even to this day, everybody is super supportive. Her school teachers, the principals, they all know Abbie and they recognize that she has some special needs, but they also know that she doesn’t get special treatment.”
Michelle was eager to say that the accident did not slow Abbie down, “She can do anything if she wants to or puts her mind to it, it just takes some creativity and out of the box thinking.” Russ added, “She’s a kid and kids like to have fun and whether they have one leg or two they’re going to find ways to have fun.”
As the accident moves further into the past, they remain grateful for the support the community gave them. Russ said, “It blows our minds at times just how generous this valley can be.”