DES MOINES, Iowa — The longest journey begins with a single step. “Each step I take, each thing I do is reminding me I get another chance,” said Dan Hedden.

Hedden’s road to recovery is nothing short of a miracle. “It’s my fault. You never start a tractor without somebody sitting in the seat,” said the 69-year-old with decades of tractor experience.

Dan Hedden’s home security video captured his near-death experience on August 11th in Van Meter. With his tractor initially stuck while pulling cut-down trees Hedden begins walking beside it before it pulls him down and runs over his body. Hedden said, “I thought I was going to die. I remember hearing all the bones crushing and felt everything breaking.”

Hedden saw his light in this world going dim as the tire treads began rolling across his head. “My wife and I never say goodbye ever because to us goodbye is permanent so we will always say see you later. She wasn’t there, she was at work but I told her goodbye,” said Hedden.

An 11-year-old boy named Brendan McLemore was helping Hedden that day. He heard Hedden’s screams and called for help. Hedden was life-flighted to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Hedden said, “If Brendan wouldn’t have been with me I wouldn’t be here.”

With the tips of each vertebra broken, the three hours a day of rehab are grueling. “I punctured both lungs, broke all my ribs, broke the left leg, mashed the muscles, and broke right collarbone,” said Hedden.

With each new milestone, each new day Hedden has a second chance at life. “I took 180 steps today,” Hedden said. He added, “I’m thankful I’m not paralyzed. I gotta be thankful every day.”

Hedden says medical professionals see his recovery going quicker than expected. Hedden could be home as early as September 8th.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Hedden’s unexpected medical expenses, you can donate here.