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After years of hard work in nursing school, Karen Crespo was finally reaping the rewards as a Registered Nurse at a prestigious Los Angeles hospital. In 2011, Karen was diagnosed with a severe form of bacterial meningitis, meningococcemia, a life-threatening blood infection. In order to save her life, doctors had no choice except to have all 4 of her extremities amputated. Due to this debilitating illness, Karen suffered a great loss to herself and to her quality of life — something we all take for granted until it is gone.

With a less than 10% chance of survival, doctors and nurses were preparing family and friends for what they presumed inevitable. An “Angel” was watching over Karen as she survived 2 mild heart attacks, a blood clot in her brain, kidney failure, and respiratory failure just to name a few.The bacteria was so aggressive Karen lost her nose, part of her right ear, hearing in both ears, her hair, her entire top lip, and skin grafts on almost every part of her body. Karen received multiple blood transfusions and over 30 surgeries. When she finally opened her eyes after being in a coma for 15 days everything had changed. She and her loved ones realized life would no longer be the same and the road ahead would be long and challenging. Prior to this illness, Karen had a heart full of dreams. Today, Karen has a heart full of courage.

Updates (1)

November 15, 2013


Over the weekend, thieves made off with $100,000 worth of new prosthetic limbs for Karen. You can watch the story from ABC7 News here:

Please consider making an end of year tax-deductible contribution to help offset Karen’s ongoing medical expenses.

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March 4, 2014

Hello Karen, I watched your story on youtube, you are an inspiration!! My 4 year old daughter was just released from hospital after bacterial meningitis. God bless you and your family!!

Julie from Vancouver

January 29, 2014

Hello Karen, I heard about your story. I would like to share that I am also a meningococcemia survivor. I know it's not easy, but hang in there.

Melanie Marzo

January 8, 2014

Hey Karen, I heard about your story on LA 18 Kababayan. God really touch my heart to find you and I'm really sad this has happen to a good nice person like you :( Stay strong always, never give up on hope; because you have so much people loving and helping you Karen <3 May The Lord Jesus Christ be your provider, healer, and carry all your burdens always. Amen.

Dary :D

November 17, 2013

Karen, I am so outraged to hear what happened to you, I can't believe someone could be so callous. My prayer is that somehow, God will speak to their hearts & they will return your arms & legs, keep the faith, love,

Mary from brea