• Last modified 994 days ago (Jan. 6, 2021)


Woman, 86, pinned under washer

Staff writer

Barbara VanHorn, 86, didn’t expect to end her weekend with nearly 50 stitches in her leg when she and her son, Mark, tried to move her washing machine onto a trailer Sunday.

They were trying to move the machine from the porch to garage at her Peabody home, but it fell and pinned her leg underneath.

Instead of panicking, VanHorn yelled for her son and told him to call 911.

“It was natural for me, I never thought anything about it,” she said. “I just opened my mouth and the good Lord put the words in.”

She was transported by ambulance to Newton Medical Center and wasn’t able to leave until nearly midnight, when she emerged with 48 stitches in her leg.

As bad as the situation could have been, VanHorn said there wasn’t much to learn.

“It was how it happened and that was that,” she said. “I did learn one thing. When my son says ‘I’ll do it’ and he doesn’t need my help, I’ll listen to him.”

The biggest change to VanHorn’s life is that she has to use a wheelchair to get around so her leg stays elevated, to help it heal.

She was to have had an appointment today to learn how bad the injury is and what steps to take next.

Last modified Jan. 6, 2021