There is a sign that hangs on the wall at Crandell Bros. Trucking that reads: “We’re not just a company, we’re a family.”Harry Augustine
The sign always stood out to Harry Augustine, a Bellevue resident and 11-year employee of the company. This winter, Augustine found out that sign is more than words hung in a frame, it holds true meaning within the company.
Augustine went into the hospital in November of last year for what he thought was a routine procedure on his medically replaced knee. Four months later, he’s fighting to get back to work.
“The plan was to have two weeks off,” Augustine said. “I was supposed to be fully back to work within a month.”
However, two falls that occurred at the hospital during his recovery altered his plans. Augustine still hasn’t been able to return to his job driving one of Crandell’s gravel trains. The setbacks revealed that his knee was receiving no support from his patella tendon, which by that point had been dissolved by an infection.
Now he awaits word from the University of Michigan Health System to find out if another surgery can fix his knee.
“If not, I’ll be fitted for a brace,” Augustine said, fighting back his emotions. “I’ll be done working. For a man who has never been down a day in his life, it’s been tough.”
His employer and his co-workers have stood by him, showing their concern and care through a special gesture in February. Knowing he utilizes and outdoor woodburner to heat his home, Chad Crandell called him out of the blue and said, “We have to move some wood. How long do you want it cut?” Later that day, two trucks full of wood arrived at his home.
“I get so emotional over this,” Augustine said. “For a company to take the time, money and equipment to do something like that, you just don’t see much of that anymore. I really have to thank Randy, Chad and all of the employees for helping me out.”
Augustine said the wood came at the perfect time as February’s frosty temperatures consumed a lot of wood in his outdoor stove.
“They got me on so many blood thinners, it was tough to keep the house warm enough for me,” Augustine said.
He travels back to the University of Michigan Health System March 31 to schedule his next surgery and plans to get back to work soon.