Eric Beckman: Quadriplegia didn’t keep him down

Eric Beckman sitting in wheelchair in pickup truck with his kids in back seatThree generations of the Beckman family have farmed the fields of northeastern Nebraska. However, that legacy almost ended for Eric Beckman in May 2007 when he rolled his pickup truck. The trauma he sustained included a high level spinal cord injury that left him quadriplegic, with paralysis from the chest down.

However, it was not long before AgrAbility entered the picture. After being transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver, Eric was visited by a Colorado AgrAbility staff member who explained the program and related services. When he returned to Nebraska for additional rehabilitation in August 2007, Nebraska AgrAbility began working with Eric.

State vocational rehabilitation agencies (VR) are key to providing assistive technologies for farmers with disabilities. However, Nebraska VR had never worked with a farmer having Eric’s level of disability. Nonetheless, his determination convinced everyone involved that farming was still his chosen vocation. With VR’s help, Eric eventually acquired modifications to drive his pickup, a power wheelchair, and a lift to get him back into his farming equipment.

The day that his tractor lift was delivered was filled with joy, cheers, and tears. Eric was once again able to return to his fields. His determination, combined with essential support from his family, AgrAbility, and a host of other professionals, helped to make Eric’s dream come back to life.

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