Karen Crespo, RN whom the doctors gave a 10% chance of surviving Bacterial Meningitis in 2010 after losing all her limbs,nose,top lip and part of her ear walks into to chat with ML with an awesome attitude and a joyful spirit!
After years of hard work in nursing school, Karen Crespo was finally enjoying the rewards of being a Registered Nurse at a Los Angeles hospital. But in 2011, Karen was diagnosed with a severe form of bacterial meningitis. In order to save her life, doctors had no choice but to amputate all four of her limbs. With a less than 10% chance of survival, doctors and nurses were preparing family and friends for what they presumed inevitable. Thankfully, Karen survived a series of complications, reconstructive surgery procedures, and a 15 day coma.
Karen now has a second chance in life, but her life will never be the same. Karen has to make adjustments to her life with the help of modified equipment, accessible housing, and transportation.
We all want comfort and convenience in our homes, whether we have a disability or not. Karen's traditional home served her well when she was healthy, unfortunately it's not user-friendly now that she is living with limb loss. The ability to drive is equally important for her sense of independence. Driving means much more than simply getting from point A to B. When Karen lost her ability to drive she lost a significant part of her life and identity. When transportation doesn't work, other factors such as employment, health care, and economy are affected as well. Many of these necessary modifications are not covered by insurance or are very costly along with surgeries, specialty doctor visits, tooling aids for her activities of daily living, and medications. Thanks to technology, Karen was hopeful to live a normal life through therapy and customized prosthetic. But in late 2013, those prosthetic, which were specifically built to fit her, were stolen from her home. No one ever returned the stolen limbs despite the efforts of Karen, her family, and her friends. Today, Karen continues the fight for her prosthetic and independence through CaringforKaren.com, and the fight against meningitis through her activities and outreach. (Read Karen's full story.)