WEST LIBERTY, Ohio - The outdoor-life, iron-pumping, muscle-car guy deep inside Scott Boyd is working hard to bring back as much as he can of his old self. Scott entered January National Blood Donor Month five months removed from the summer mowing accident when the bush hog he was using caught him in its teeth and chewed into his side like an angry shark.
Scott has come a long way since Aug. 12, 2016, the day he nearly bled to death in a field behind his West Liberty home. He needed 108 units of donor blood to survive, but his body has long since regenerated its own. He's had more than a dozen surgeries, but more healing must come before two key surgeries ahead to receive a new hip.
The strength he built from hard work and a weightlifting regimen undoubtedly helped him survive the accident. These days he dedicates his rehabilitation efforts to the dream of walking again.
When asked if he is regaining his strength his reply was confident. "I think I am," he said. "I'm walking on a treadmill. I couldn't tell you what kind of weights I'm doing. I was a 300-pound bencher before this happened."
Community Blood Center held August and October blood drives in West Liberty dedicated to Scott. The the family named them the "Iron Man Blood Drives" for good reason. On the day of the accident his heart stopped twice while waiting for CareFlight and twice again in flight to Miami Valley Hospital. It was not his first experience of cheating death.
When he was 13 he was one of three boys who survived a car accident on the way home from football practice that left three others dead. Both arms and wrists were broken and his skull cracked. Years later he dove into a pond to rescue his young daughter and broke his neck.
"When I broke my neck I had to overcome the same kind of things," he said. "I've done it once and I can do it again. I lost my life twice on the ground and twice in the air… to have any opportunity at all, I'm just happy about that. Anything else is just a plus."
The West Liberty community rallied around Scott and his wife Cindee in the weeks and months after the accident, hosting fundraisers and donating blood. He would attend as many events as he could to thank his neighbors face to face.
"They donated a lot of blood and I used a lot of too," he said. "The whole town turned out. That's so much appreciated. I couldn't say that enough. It's hard to figure out how to repay that debt. I would never have expected what people stepped out and did. It just blew my mind with their kindness."
It was a special holiday season at the Boyd home. His sons came from California and Florida and daughter Chelsie from college in Columbus. Scott said nine-year-old son Noah "has been a big help with me." Cindee remains his greatest source of strength.
"She's my guardian angel," he said. "I could never dream… I hate that I have to put her through this. This happened to me and she has to take care of me and I hate that for her. She takes care of me."
Scott depends on crutches, a walker, and for any distance at all, a wheelchair. "I can't walk with my legs. My left hip is gone," he said. "It looks like a shark bit me."
"The traumatic blood loss has taken a toll on his short-term memory. "I can remember things from the past," he said. "They can tell me something at therapy about my appointment, and by the time I get home I don't have a clue. If it's left up to me, that's what happens."
Unchanged is his iron will. He keeps a clear vision for the future, and a deep gratitude for yet another chance on life.
"I went through a lot of blood. I bled out twice. I appreciate it," he said.
"I'm going to get better. I'm not going to be stopped from that. I've beat it before, I'll beat this. It's going to be hard but it's definitely coming."