Workplace accident leads to dream job - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Workplace accident leads to dream job

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Kina Repp, of Ione Washington, now spends her days traveling around the world to share her story of survival.  But, she paid a heavy price to find this job, and her calling. Kina Repp, of Ione Washington, now spends her days traveling around the world to share her story of survival. But, she paid a heavy price to find this job, and her calling.
IONE, Wash. -

Kina Repp, of Ione Washington, now spends her days traveling around the world to share her story of survival. But, she paid a heavy price to find this job, and her calling.

"There really isn't anything that could've prepared me for what happened because the day that changes your life forever starts out like any other day," explained Kina.

For her, that day was June 23, 1990. And, what Kina calls the "ripple effects" of that day continue to run through her life.

Within the first 40 minutes of her first day on the job at a cannery in a small Alaskan village, the then 20-year-old Kina lost her left arm.

"My arm went up and around the roller," she remembers. "A bar hit my jaw, and was pulling my head in the opposite direction." She said she can still remember the sound she heard when her arm broke.

Now, almost 25 years later, Kina shares her story through motivational speeches, hoping to inspire her audiences to make safer decisions while at work.

"I know this isn't just a job, or a paycheck" she said of the workers that usually make up her audience. "They're working hard because it's for a mortgage or putting food on table."

Kina's father, Carl Kent, plays a starring role in her speech. He recently got to see and hear Kina's presentation for the first time right here in Spokane.

"It means everything to me that she's doing [well]" he said after seeing the emotional speech.

Kina's message is loud and clear.

"There's no job, no paycheck, no amount of money that is worth any part of you" she says.

But now, she said she knows her current job is the job she was meant to find - to help others stay safe at work.

Kina is headed back to South Naknek, Alaska in June for the 25th anniversary of her accident.

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