Ramsey man paralyzed in hunting accident, offers message to others

Andy Eha has been a bow hunter for more than 20 years, but now this avid outdoorsman has spent the last two months inside after a hunting accident left him paralyzed from the chest down.

"I'm very independent.  I don't like people helping me ever. So it's been very, very hard for me to adjust to that," said Eha.

Eha was in a deer stand in the woods behind his house in Ramsey in late September when a doe walked out of some brush nearby.

As he waited for the deer to come closer, his foot caught on a cable holding the tree stand in place and he fell 20 feet to the ground below where he realized something was wrong.

"I wasn't really hurting. It was more 'oh crap'. I think I might be paralyzed. So the whole time I was feeling my legs and trying to move my legs without moving my body," said Eha.

It turns out he broke four vertebrae and three ribs in his fall, landing him in a pair of hospitals for eight weeks as he recovered. 

He must use a wheelchair to get around and wear a body brace because his injuries have left him unable to walk.

"I'm a go-go type of guy and it's so hard to just hurry up and wait," he said.

The 34-year-old says he wasn't wearing a safety harness that morning because he was running late to get to the deer stand and left it behind.

Now he's sharing his story because he doesn't want other hunters to make the same mistake.

"If they don't have a harness, I would say get one and the hunters that do, you have no reason not to be wearing it. It's your life you have in your hands," said Eha.