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A home with Homecrest

Photo provided Nicole Johnson, who was airlifted out of Wadena this week after losing part of her left arm to a machine malfunction at work, smiles with her husband Jason at Memorial Hospital in Minneapolis.

A Wadena woman who lost part of her arm while on the job this week is staying positive, and hopes she will soon be reunited with her co-workers.

Nicole Johnson, who was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in Minneapolis Monday after a machine took nearly half of her left arm during a maintenance check, said she is excited to return to work at Wadena's Homecrest Outdoor Living.

"We're a pretty tight-knit, close people there at Homecrest," Johnson said Thursday, shortly after her husband and other close family members accompanied her for a walk around the hospital's cafeteria.

Johnson helps make cushions in the business's soft goods department. And while she misses the workplace camaraderie, she admitted getting some much-needed R&R is a priority.

In order to jump back into the routine she's used to, Johnson is focused on a major task: "relearning to do things."

At times on Thursday, the mom of three made it seem as though folding laundry would be at the top of her list of challenges. But she maintains staying positive is key.

"I want this to be taken in the most positive light it can be," she said. "I'm doing wonderful."

Johnson added that she's undergone two surgeries this week, and will be released from the hospital today. However, her journey to recovery is not yet over.

"I'm going to have a few more trips up here to North Memorial," she said.

Johnson's husband, Jason, thinks she is handling her situation extremely well.

"She's doing good," he said.

Additionally, Johnson said the accident has not hindered her view of Homecrest.

"It was a completely freak accident," she said. "I'm so in love with Homecrest and what I do over there that I actually am looking forward to going back to work."

Chris Fox, Homecrest's general manager, said Monday she was thankful the accident wasn't deadly. And while some workers were shaken up after the incident, they've managed to pull through.

"We're moving along," Fox said.

Until Johnson is reunited with her place of work, she is thankful she is healing.

"The nurses and doctors are just shocked at how well I'm doing," she said. "I'm just trying to take it one day at a time, and trying to keep the most positive attitude I can have."