By Emily Olsen / The Sanpete Messenger, Mar. 23, 2022
Sanpete County, Utah
SPRING CITY — The daughter of a widely known farmer and rancher who was critically injured earlier this month in a farm accident says, “words cannot express how much we appreciate the kindness of people in our community, county and state.”
Mike Black, who also serves as deputy treasurer in Spring City, has a serious tractor accident on March 8, requiring the amputation of his right arm.
Black also broke bones in his spine and the femur bone in his leg, as well as 12 of his ribs. His daughter, Brittany Hooser, says his spinal cord was not damaged in the accident.
At first, “we had no idea the extent of his back injury,” Hooser said Monday. His medical team was focused initially on care related to the loss of his arm.
Because he was alone when the accident occurred, only Black knows what happened, and he has not been able to speak since the accident, Hooser said.
Because of his broken back and femur, it has been necessary to keep him under light sedation to prevent him from moving and to help control his pain levels, but Hooser said Black has never gone into a coma.
The medical staff are able to wake him up periodically, and he is able to squeeze his wife Susan’s hand. He has also been able to wiggle his toes and feet.
Since the accident, Black has been in the ICU at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. He is not able to receive visitors other than immediate family at this time. But family and friends have offered an outpouring of support.
People have been offering monetary donations, meals, and their time to help tend their sheep herd, “since Dad can’t be on a horse this year,” his daughter said.
Without being asked, people have volunteered to help with lambing season, which is right around the corner. The Black family has 1,000 ewes who will deliver young in the next few weeks. The Blacks also drive their herd 24 miles to a summer range in just a few months, and they have help lined up for that also.
Hooser said she is keeping a notebook of all the well wishes that have been offered to Black and his family so she can share the messages with her dad when he is ready.
Black has gone through surgeries to help stabilize his back and femur. Presently his medical team is monitoring Black for ventilator-related pneumonia that he contracted while in the hospital, which is common for ICU patients. A regimen of antibiotics is helping to clear the infection in his lungs.
Considering the trauma that he has experienced, “doctors and other medical staff say he is really doing awesome,” Hooser said. Black will be incapacitated for at least six months to allow his spine and femur to heal.
A retired teacher in the North Sanpete School District, Black has also served as a board member of the Horseshoe Irrigation Company for the last 20-plus years. He has also been an EMT.
In his role as the deputy treasurer for Spring City, he oversees maintenance of the cemetery, animal licensing, city building reservations and rentals, grants and projects, and he also serves as a notary.
Black has three daughters who all live in Sanpete County: Chelsey, as well as Hooser and her husband Michael, live in Spring City near their parents; Nicole and her husband Kedrick live in Fairview. Black also has five grandchildren.
The farm owned by the Blacks has been in their family since 1877. Their ancestors helped to settle Spring City in pioneer times.
An account at Cache Valley Bank has been opened under Mike Black’s name. For more information, call (888) 418-5333.
Return to Emily Olsen’s Journalism Samples Index