When Jeff Durheim entered Mayo Clinic in Rochester after his horrific auto race accident he told everyone that he would not be confined to a wheelchair.

On Friday he was able to do just that by walking out of the hospital.

During a enduro race car race in Garden City Jeff had a crash and at that very moment the Butterfield Volunteer Firefighter knew he had broken his neck since he could not move his arms and legs.

After being cut out of the car he was rushed by ambulance to Highway 169 where a helicopter was waiting for him to take him to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

From there he underwent an intensive reconstructive neck surgery using titanium and some of his hip to form it.

For the next 49 days Jeff endured 3-4 hours of physical therapy for 7 days a week doing whatever he could to one day be able to walk and use his arms again.

While he is able to walk and use his arms again he knows that he still has plenty of work to do to regain as much strength as possible in his arms and legs to get to close to 100% as possible.

Jeff explained that he will begin physical therapy in Mankato next Monday to help gain his strength back.

Since the accident took place Jeff said that he has been very grateful for the friends and family and community members that have helped with well wishes and in some cases with gift cards and money to help pay for different expenses.

“its amazing the amount of people that reach out to help you  even people that you haven’t talked to for a while,” the Madelia native said.

Even Jeff’s employer has been generous with their well wishes.

“ From day one they told me they will have a job for me,” he said.

The community also came together after the accident to organize a fundraiser event scheduled for this Sunday at the American Legion.

Fundraiser details

A Salisbury Steak dinner will be served (free will donation) & Silent Auction (11:00AM-1:30PM). Raffle will be held at 6:30 p.m.

For more information about the fundraiser or to RSVP go to the event page https://www.facebook.com/events/2079254509003249/.

While it may be a long road ahead for Jeff as he regains full strength in his arms and legs he was reminded before he left the hospital that he wasn’t supposed to use his arms and legs again because of his injury.

With a smile on his face he said he will soon be at 100%.