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Community welcomes home farmer who was seriously injured

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A Berrien County farmer who injured his spinal cord in an accident in January was celebrated Tuesday by members of his community. They came together, while maintaining their distance, to give him a sweet welcome home.

Rick Vite, 82, was seriously injured in a fall.

“When the accident first happened, he wasn’t able to move his legs or his arms or hands at all pretty much, but he’s able to stand up on his own. He can walk with a walker and he’s got more functionality in his arms and it’s been really awesome to see," said Jacob Foster, Vite's grandson. “Everyone gathered here today because my grandpa is coming home from Mary Free Bed. He’s been doing rehab for the last about two months, two and a half now.”

Vite's wife, Ruth Anne, was excited to have him home.

“Before the Coronavirus business, you know, was in full swing I was able to see him a few times up there at the hospital but it was right after my last visit, which was a few weeks ago, he then was quarantined," Ruth Anne said.

His grandson says Vite has always been a giver.

"As long as I’ve known him he’s just been the most generous and kind hearted person that I’ve ever known. Everybody loves him. He’s a great guy so it’s just amazing to have him back home on the farm where he belongs," Foster said.

Vite will continue his recovery at home.

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