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Andy Johnson has spent much of his life fixing things. As a 35-year-old farmer growing corn and hay in Colorado, Johnson is a model of resourcefulness, spending the days on his 1,000 acres of farmland as an agronomist, a car mechanic, or a welder. Every year the summer storms come and go, crops thrive and die. But his farmer’s ingenuity has always persisted through the seasons, a trait passed down through five generations of men making their living off the land.

But when his wife, Sarah, was involved in a serious car accident just days after Thanksgiving, he began to ask himself one question: How do I fix this?

On the latest episode of Paternal, Johnson recounts the moment he learned of his wife’s injuries, but also what happened in the months that followed. As his wife slowly recovered from a traumatic brain injury, Johnson found himself balancing the responsibilities of caregiver and husband, and playing a larger role in the life of his young daughter. A task as simple as doing his daughter’s hair for a dance recital made Johnson realize his shortcomings as a dad, and how he needed to reach out to community for help, advice, and counsel.

“You wake up thinking you have an idea, and then life throws you a curveball, and you just get the job done,” Johnson says. “How do we get through this? How can we keep going?”

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