Beam Master Distiller Fred B. Noe Gets Kidney From Co-Worker
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Beam Master Distiller Fred B. Noe Receives Kidney Donation From Co-Worker

When James B. Beam Master Distiller Fred B. Noe sought a kidney, he didn’t have to look far to find a willing donor.

DeeAnn Hogan, plant coordinator at the company’s distilleries in Clermont and Boston, Kentucky, volunteered. Hogan and Noe are close. She calls herself Noe’s “plant mom,” and Noe said the two have been friends for 25 years.

Noe decided to explore the possibility of a kidney transplant after he developed a blood sugar issue and Type 2 diabetes and consulted with specialists at Nephrology Associates of Kentuckiana.

Hogan was sure of her decision to help Noe and wasn’t going to take no for an answer. When she found out he needed a kidney, she asked him what his blood type was, again and again, until he told her, according to a news release.

“If she wants something, she stays after you,” Noe said. “Which is good, that keeps me moving in the right direction. I need a little prodding, you know?”

Hogan said she had wanted to donate a kidney to another friend three years before, but an illness in the family prevented her from being able to.

“I’m a pretty giving person,” Hogan said. “I try to do everything for the good of all. And God gave me two kidneys, I only need one, and I’m healthy enough. I take care of myself, and all the stars lined up and it was perfect.”

The transplant took place in April. Hogan said it was her first experience in a hospital.

Noe said he felt better almost immediately after the transplant.

“I started dialysis about eight weeks before the transplant,” he said. “I always thought you were supposed to feel better after dialysis, but I couldn’t do much of anything. I felt sluggish and just sat around the house. I didn’t have much of a desire to do anything. After the transplant, I was up walking and doing stuff again. It was almost immediate.”

Noe said he feels better than he has in years.

“DeeAnn told me, ‘If I give you this kidney, you’re going to have to start walking every day.’ So I’m walking every day,” said Noe. “Now I’m feeling really, really good. I’m not allowed to get out in crowds and stuff yet — my immune system is still a little restricted from the transplant and the medicines — but I feel great. I feel a lot better than I did before April 23.”

Hogan said the two text every day, checking up one each other. She reports that she doesn’t feel any physically different after donating her kidney.

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