GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An Allendale man who was hurt during a barn explosion in December that took his right leg has returned home after 49 days in the hospital.

The explosion that trapped Carl Beintema happened on Dec. 23, 2022, around 8:30 p.m. on 52nd Avenue near Jordan Street.

Beintema told Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital that he had been welding in his barn when his grinder parked an undetected gas leak.

“The explosion happened right in front of me,” he told Mary Free Bed’s communication team. “I just remember getting picked up and thrown. When I tried to stand up, I couldn’t.”

His wife, Ashleigh, found him pushed up against the wall covered in debris. Mary Free Bed said his legs were crushed.

Due to the Christmas blizzard, the roads were bad and response times for ambulances and other first responders were slow.

When first responders arrived, they learned that Ashleigh Beintema had pulled her husband from the barn where explosions were still happening. A nearby deputy had already applied tourniquets to his legs, which Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Kempker said saved Carl Beintema’s life.

He went to the hospital with burns and lacerations and severe injuries to his lower extremities and abdomen. Mary Free Bed said he spent nine days in the ICU where he underwent multiple surgeries including the amputation of his right leg.

“Amputation had the best possible outcome for our future. I was just happy just knowing that there is a tomorrow,” Ashleigh Beintema told Mary Free Bed. “Whether he has two legs or no legs, he is my person.”

Once stable he was transferred to Mary Free Bed where he began therapy.

On Feb. 10, Carl Beintema left the hospital and finally returned home.

Mary Free Bed said it “anticipates he’ll check off one milestone at a time – progressing from a wheelchair to walking on his own (with a new prosthesis).”