Little Ayla, the Wollyung’s granddaughter, was only four years old when she passed away after an accident with the family’s farming machinery. She and another child had been playing in the grain wagon when they became trapped. Emergency personnel were able to save one child with CPR, but Ayla had to be air-lifted to a hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
The Wollyung’s family friend, a woman named Tara Henry, heard about the tragic accident and called to check up on the family and see if they needed anything. It turned out that they did.
Carmen admitted that she and her husband, Steve Wollyung, still had over 100 acres of wheat that needed to be harvested…but that they weren’t sure how to get it all done while dealing with their loss.
Tara immediately began making phone calls, calling every farmer and worker that she knew to help. The Wollyung family was widely known and respected, and friends and neighbors brought their machinery over – those that didn’t have machinery brought food and drinks – and over 60 farmers began work. They started at 10am and reduced a week-long endeavor to only seven hours.
We’re hoping this tragedy will help others down the road,” Wollyung said. “Around Halloween, kids visit farms and play in corn mazes and it all looks so pretty and fun. But we need to teach them that farms are a place where serious is work is done and it can be dangerous.”
The outpouring of support, said Steve Wollyung, is typical of farmers. They help each other out in times of need, and while he hopes he won’t need to return the favor, knows that he will help any one of the other farmers when they need it.
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