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Blood Donations Help Savanna E.coli Victim Recover

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Nearly two years ago to the day a Savanna High School student was fighting for her life against E. coli. But today, 16-year-old Kristen Perry made her state track debut, thanks in part to hundreds of blood donors. Nearly two years ago to the day a Savanna High School student was fighting for her life against E. coli. But today, 16-year-old Kristen Perry made her state track debut, thanks in part to hundreds of blood donors.
MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma -

Nearly two years ago to the day a Savanna High School student was fighting for her life against E. coli. But today, 16-year-old Kristen Perry made her state track debut, thanks in part to hundreds of blood donors.

Perry said three things saved her life: The support of her family and friends, her faith and the blood donations of thousands of Oklahomans.

“The pain was so bad that they had to keep me medicated a lot. I was on a vent for five days,” said Perry.

But on Tuesday she competed against some of Oklahoma's top high school track stars. Now a healthy 16-year-old making high jumps, she once was doubled over in crippling stomach pain while on a girls' trip to Tulsa.

“When you first find out your daughter could be going through all this, you just want to be there for her,” said Kristen's mother, Mandi Holt.

Perry spent 35 days in the hospital. Her particular strain of E. coli led to kidney failure.

The family's prayers of healing were answered through each blood transfusion made possible by donors who gave, not knowing whom they would help.

“I would be laying there and I just didn't have any color and they would start giving me a blood transfusion and you could see my cheeks start flushing again and my lips would be red,” said Perry.

“You can see her right there and she is here today. It most definitely saved our daughter's life,” said Holt.

A lifesaving donation Kristen's mother now gives back to others in need every two months.

“Before that I didn't know how important it was, but I mean with people who donated I wouldn't be here,” said Perry.

Perry and her family say they are eternally grateful to the generous donors who help her turn from fighter to survivor; giving her the chance to compete today.

Kristen's mother said it took more than a thousand donors to make up all the blood, plasma and platelets she received while in the hospital.

OBI will be holding a statewide blood drive next Thursday and Friday.

Learn more about how you can donate.

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