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Man Trapped Under Tree Limb For Six Days

Last updated on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

(WAKARUSA) - A 61-year-old man was trapped for six days after he fell from a ladder and was pinned to the ground by a large branch that he was cutting from a maple tree at his northern Indiana farm.

The Goshen News reports that a neighbor discovered Jim Miller on Tuesday afternoon at his farm in Wakarusa about 25 miles southeast of South Bend, after Miller's sister asked him to check in.

"I thought the worst," said the neighbor, Paul Miller.

Jim Miller had fallen about 15 feet from his ladder last Wednesday. His chain saw was left hanging in the tree and the grass beneath his body had turned yellow as he lay on the ground, unable to move, in unusually hot weather.

"I called his name and he opened his eyes. He couldn't move. He knew what day it was, though. He asked me what day it was and I mistakenly said Monday," Paul Miller said. "He said, 'I thought it was Tuesday,' and he was right.

He was in fair condition Wednesday at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, nursing supervisor Patty Smith said, who could not release information on Miller's injuries.

Firefighters and neighbors assisted in the rescue.

Paul Miller said Jim was thirsty after his ordeal.

Temperatures hit record highs for each of the six days Miller had been trapped, ranging from 77 degrees to a high of 83 degrees on the day he was found. The temperature dropped below 60 only one night, to 55 degrees on Saturday. According to the National Weather Service, highs are normally in the upper 40s and lows of about 30 at this time of year.

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