Originally Posted by MeAndOldBlue
A friend of mine solved this problem for me. He connected a coathanger to the rod which had apparently broken and brought it in behind the handle, where he bent about the last 3/4" into a right angle (just enough to get your finger around). It is not ideal, but I pull on the right-angle-end-of-coathanger with my left hand, and pull the handle (still attached to the rod on the other side) with my right; but it beats messing with the latch itself and once you get used to it, it's second nature. It's worked for several years.
Appalachian American engineering... Gotta love it! Southern hospitality and Southern ingenuity go hand in hand.