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Fond du Lac County girl in stable condition after hay bale accident

The hay bale that fell was around the size of one of these bales, but round instead of square.
Posted at 4:28 PM, Aug 26, 2022

FOND DU LAC COUNTY — A bale of hay weighing about 1,000 lbs fell on a 9-year-old in Fond du Lac County Wednesday afternoon, causing serious injuries. Savannah Grahl is now in a "good spot," according to her mother Tara Grahl.

Savannah Grahl and her siblings were visiting at a family farm to milk calves and play with kittens, something Tara Grahl said they typically do twice a week.

Tara Grahl said she stepped out for a moment to call her husband when her oldest daughter ran out of the barn to inform Grahl that a hay bale fell, pinning Savannah Grahl to the ground.

Her mother said Savannah was "purple" and non-responsive.

Savannah's aunt was also at the scene and quickly called 911. By what Tara Grahl described as "supernatural abilities," the two women were able to lift the half ton bale of hay to free Savannah.

Tara Grahl said the hay bales were well-secured and it is unclear why they fell.

First responders quickly arrived at the scene and Savannah Grahl was transported to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where she was placed on a ventilator in intensive care.

Grahl said doctors told her that they may be able to remove a breathing tube from Savannah on Friday, and she could make a full recovery. However, she will likely need to wear a neck brace while her injuries heal.

Tara Grahl said she hopes her daughter can soon be back to her passions of dance, horseback riding, and taking care of animals. She described Savannah as her "always look on the bright side girl."

Keeping kids safe on the farm is no easy task, said Fond du Lac County Farm Bureau Vice President Chris Pollack, who lives on a farm and has four kids of his own, all under the age of six.

"I mean, there's so many risks around a farm," Pollack said.

Pollack said he wants his kids to be able to explore the farm, but he is very cognizant of their safety.

"The biggest thing is just to make sure you know where your kids are at all times," Pollack said. "And make sure that that where they are is going to be a safe place. It's always a challenge because things can change."

But even with the most stringent precautions in place, accidents can happen.

"I know of too many people that have had instances where kids have got hurt or nearly killed," Pollack said. "And that's something that no parent or farmer ever wants to deal with."

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Savannah and her family to help pay for medical expenses.