Hunter McCloud Stambaugh, Kentucky

With the Aid of Blood Donors, There's No Slowing Down This Stambaugh Dirt Track Racer

Hunter McCloud is a dirt tracker racer in Stambaugh, Kentucky.

Feb. 7, 2024

Between his wedding planned for July and his passion for competitive dirt track racing, Hunter McCloud was looking forward to an exciting summer after a semester at the University of Pikeville.

Despite his plans, Hunter’s life was about to be changed in ways he never could have imagined.

On May 22, 2023, Hunter was driving a dump truck for his grandpa’s company in Hindman, Kentucky when something didn’t feel right. Hunter started going down a hill and pressed down on the brakes, but the truck showed no signs of slowing down.

Wanting to warn people at the bottom of the hill, Hunter grabbed the air horn on the truck with his left arm. While his body was thrown out with the windshield, his arm became wedged beneath the weight of the truck, eventually resulting in an amputation at the elbow.

Hunter wasn’t going to let this change him or get in the way of his plans.

“I just looked at the doctor and said, ‘Do what you gotta do to keep me alive.’ I have so much more life to live,” Hunter said. “You don’t know what’s ahead of you. I just wanted to live.”

Hunter was flown to a nearby hospital and received two pints of blood. Only three days after the horrific accident, Hunter walked out of the hospital feeling thankful to be alive.

“Yeah, half my arm is gone, but my personality is still here,” Hunter said. “I’m still Hunter. There’s no difference in me.”

Hunter McCloud married his wife, Grace, two months after a horrific dump truck accident.

About a month after his accident, Hunter’s church, Eastside Freewill Baptist Church in Thelma, Kentucky, partnered with Kentucky Blood Center and held a blood drive in his name. The Johnson County community banded together and donated 44 units of blood, helping save up to 132 lives.

The church holds a blood drive with KBC every year, but this time felt more special and hit close to home. Few ever think something could happen where they’d need blood, Hunter said, but he knows he’s proof that your life can change in an instant.

“You could leave the house tomorrow and think everything is going to be OK and then you’re going to need blood,” Hunter said. “If you can give just 30 minutes of your time to get somewhere and give a little bit of blood, you could be saving so many lives.”

Hunter knows a lot of things could have happened differently, that he could have bled out or went through the windshield, but all he feels is blessed to be alive.

Now, not even a year later, Hunter is married and back to dirt track racing. Within two months of the accident, Hunter even won his first race.

Going back to racing with one arm was a challenge, but with hard work and dedication, Hunter and his team adapted so he could continue doing what he loves.

Hunter credits his dad, the people of Johnson County, the blood donors whose blood he received and God for him still being here.

“Even though I lost my left arm, nothing can stop what you put your mind to,” Hunter said. “It’s just a mindset. I just want to show people that no matter what happens, just put your nose down and keep moving forward. That’s all we’ve got.”

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About Kentucky Blood Center

KBC, the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky, has been saving local lives since 1968. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area (Corbin).