WEST LIBERTY, Ohio – “I just wanted to see my dad,” nine-year-old Noah Boyd said, remembering how he stood at the road side Friday, Aug. 12, waiting to direct EMS crews to the pasture of their West Liberty home where his father Scott Boyd lay bleeding from a bush hog accident.
During the hurried arrival of the CareFlight helicopter Scott’s wife Cindee Boyd was surprised when asked if Noah should cross the pasture to give his dad a kiss and a hug. “I said ‘No, just get him to the hospital,’” Cindee recalled. She understands now they were giving Noah a chance to say a final goodbye.
Scott Boyd’s heart stopped twice waiting for CareFlight and twice again in flight to Miami Valley Hospital. The mower had ripped a “shark bite” wound in his side, shattering his hip and clawing ribs and internal organs. During multiple surgeries over the next 39 hours he needed 108 units of blood, including plasma and platelets.
Against all odds, Scott survived. “They never told me the percentage. I know now it was one percent,” Cindee wrote that day on her Facebook page. More surgeries followed and Scott slowly became aware of what happened to him. On Aug. 28 Noah could finally see his dad again.
The Boyd family considers it providence that Scott is alive and they embrace every chance to thank the tight-knit West Liberty community for their overwhelming support. Cindee took rare time away from the hospital Wednesday, Aug. 31 to visit the Community Blood Center blood drive at the Green Hills Community, dedicated as a replacement blood drive for Scott “Iron Man” Boyd.
Green Hills Marketing Director Rebecca Marker-Smith proposed dedicating the blood drive to Scott, and CBC’s Kathy Pleiman was able to increase the capacity from the normal 25 appointments to 68. Supporters filled every appointment, resulting in 68 registrations and 59 donations, including 24 first-time donors.
“People asked, ‘what can I do, how can I help?’” Rebecca said. “This was the perfect way for the community to reach out.”
“It’s unimaginable what they’re going through,” said donor Jeff Ramsey.
Cindee is well known in West Liberty where she serves as village clerk and treasurer and teaches a morning fitness class, but she said the response for Scott would be the same for any member of the community in need. “They are all awesome,” she said. She credited her daughter Chelsie, a student at Columbus State Community College, for calling it the “Iron Man Blood Drive.”
“My dad wouldn’t be alive if people hadn’t made those blood donations,” Chelsie said.
Cindee and her family have had many hours to contemplate all the mystifying turns of fate that played a part in Scott’s survival. Most significant to Cindee was how she happened to be at home on the Friday Scott was mowing and somehow became caught in the blades. She had handled village business in Bellefontaine that morning instead going during her lunch break.
She was in her kitchen making lunch for Noah when she received a dropped call from Scott. She sent a text “need anything.” His scrambled reply included “help” and “911.”
Daughters Casey and Chelsie live nearby, but son Coby was beginning a vacation in Peru. He got the call to come home just before embarking on a two-week wilderness trek.
Their son David is a third-year medical student in orthopedics. He was able to abruptly shift his rotation duty from a Florida hospital to Kettering Medical Center. His father’s progress has now become a special case study in his medical education.
But what the family finds most uncanny is the way Scott has walked a fine line between life and death his entire life. When he awoke in the hospital he thought he had been in a car accident, then remembered “Oh yea, the bush hog got me.” But Scott might have been revisiting the first time he cheated death.
Roni Lile from Bellefontaine made her first blood donation in more than 40 years Wednesday to support Scott. In 1968 her brother Chris Hall was 12 years old and Scott was 13 when they were passengers in a car accident. Chris was one of the three people killed in the crash. Three boys survived, and Scott was one of them.
“Scott and I have been kindred spirits,” Roni said. “He’s part of the family. Scott’s become a surrogate brother to me.”
She said she went into a panic at the news of Scott’s mower injury. “It was like losing my brother all over again,” she said. But she now understands why he should be called “Iron Man.”
“He’s got a greater purpose,” she said. “I would have expected no one other than him to survive this.”
Chelsie has her own story about her dad’s stubborn resilience. When she was a toddler Scott dove into a pond and broke his neck. Yet he carried her back to the house before getting help.
Cindee has but one answer for why her husband’s light may flicker but never fade: “God has big plans for you Scott Boyd.”