Frenchville woman recovering after injuring foot in potato harvester

Posted Sept. 12, 2011, at 6:47 p.m.

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — A Frenchville woman was recuperating from emergency surgery Monday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for injuries suffered in a harvesting accident Sunday morning.

Brenda Bourgoin, 40, said doctors saved and repaired and her foot Sunday, but she was expecting more surgery on Wednesday. She said she was doing well, considering the situation.

She said she was helping her friends Gail and Steve Cyr harvest their potato crop in a field off Route 1 about 500 feet from the Frenchville post office when the accident happened.

She had worked on the harvester a couple of days earlier in the week and had started at about 8 a.m. Sunday.

The accident happened at about 11 a.m., she said, when her pant leg got caught in a drive shaft near the platform where workers stand on the harvester to cull potatoes and vines. The drive shaft that turns the metal tracks pulling the potatoes up from the ground also pulled her leg in and twisted it around, she said.

She was taken to Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent by ambulance, then to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor by LifeFlight and then later Sunday to Boston by jet, she said.

Bourgoin said she can feel the bottom of her foot and her toes, but she can’t feel the top of her foot.

“I was just doing this to help out a friend,” said Bourgoin, whose regular job is working as a cook at Paul’s Gas Station in Frenchville. Despite the injury, she said, “I am doing well.”

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