STANFORD — Kinney Noe has used 42 pints of blood in the fight for his life.
During his first surgery at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center alone, doctors transfused 32 units to keep him alive.
“That means that there’s 42 people who had to go in and give blood to give what he needed,” daughter Kindra Witak said. “Had those people not given blood, he would have died the first day.”
But Kinney Noe has now survived longer than a month since falling from a tree stand onto a limb that impaled him, damaging his liver, lungs and diaphragm Nov. 13.
So, on Noe’s 57th birthday Thursday, his family held a blood drive with the Kentucky Blood Center in support of him and all those with medical needs this holiday season.
Most area drives bring in about 35 pints of blood, but a half-hour into the Noes’ drive at Stanford Baptist Church, more than 100 people had lined up to donate.
In all, 300 people came to the blood drive; 233 people attempted to give, and about 200 were able to give their time and blood in honor of Noe, daughter Kandis Noe said. The blood center collected 200 pints Thursday.
“I cannot express the joy I feel seeing all of these people here right now,” she said Thursday. “It’s just overwhelming.”
The outpouring came directly after one of Kinney Noe’s rough nights in the trauma intensive care unit, where doctors are taking his progress hour-by-hour, Kandis Noe said. If her father can make it through this uncertain time, he will require at least six months of hospital recovery.
In the meantime, Stanford residents readily offered their thoughts, prayers and veins.
Every person in the serpentine lines winding around Stanford Baptist Church on Thursday seemed to have a personal connection with Kinney Noe. Some worked with him at Curtsinger’s in Danville where he is a part owner, some had children taught by his wife Rita Noe at Stanford Elementary School, some just knew his name and friendly reputation from around town.
Walker Noe, Kinney Noe’s father, teared up as he watched people pouring though the doors of the drive.
“There’s so many thoughts that go through your mind when you see a friend standing there in line, you remember an association or a memory,” he said. “It’s just wonderful to see the support.”
Andrea Miller, executive director of the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, credited the positive influence of Kinney Noe and his family on the county for the crowds that waited as the Lincoln County High School choir sang Christmas carols.
“That goes to show what the family of Lincoln County can do,” she said. “That’s what Christmas is all about … We can give the gift of life.”
Nancy Porter, 68, agreed by giving her 83rd pint of blood, while newcomers like Ashely Smith, 20, donated for the first time.
Witak said she and her family are grateful for every person, young or old, friend or stranger, and every pint of blood,
“I never knew that community support could reach out this far,” she said. “This is overwhelming.”