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PIKE COUNTY GIRL TO BE FEATURED
ON CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK SHOW

By Tammy Gay

 

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"The infection had affected every organ system in Kristin's body, to a point where her life was in danger. We were very grateful and very happy when she finally began to respond to our massive treatment."

-- Heinrich Werner, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and anesthesiology, UK College of Medicine

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Lexington, Ky. (Lexington) -- Kristin Yonts, 7, daughter of George and Carolyn Yonts of Pike County, will be featured as a "champion" during the "2002 Children's Miracle Network Celebration" on May 31-June 1. The annual television fund-raiser benefits the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital. "Champion" is an appropriate term for Kristin, who survived life-threatening odds.

It started when Kristin came home after school one day last September and told her mother she was having trouble walking. Although she was recovering from a sinus, throat and ear infection, Carolyn immediately took Kristin to the local hospital after discovering she had a fever of 104 degrees. She was sent home with a strong antibiotic.

When Kristin's parents took her back to the hospital two days later, her organs were shutting down.

"Her face and lips were blue," Carolyn said. "Every bug bite and every bruise looked like they would start to bleed. We thought we might lose her."

Doctors tested for meningitis and the tests came back negative. Kristin was flown to UK Children's Hospital and placed on a respirator in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with a strep virus.

"The infection had affected every organ system in Kristin's body, to a point where her life was in danger. We were very grateful and very happy when she finally began to respond to our massive treatment," said Heinrich Werner, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and anesthesiology, UK College of Medicine.

After nearly a month, Kristin pulled through. She's now a healthy 7-year-old who, like most girls her age, loves to play with Barbies and her dog.

Kristin and other children will be recognized as "champions" during the "Children's Miracle Network Celebration," which will be broadcast May 31-June 1 from Fayette Mall in Lexington on WKYT-TV, channel 27 (Lexington) and WYMT-TV, channel 57 (Hazard). Co-hosts are Barbara Bailey and Bill Bryant, WKYT-TV, and Tony Turner, WYMT-TV.

During the broadcast, the program will feature and celebrate the triumphs of UK's young patients and the health issues they are facing. The annual program will not only recognize the children as champions, but also the many people who champion children, such as families, health professionals, individuals, volunteers and donors.

The broadcast Celebration begins at 8 p.m. Friday, May 31, and will continue through 11 p.m. On Saturday, June 1, the Celebration continues at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. During the broadcast, there will be a silent auction at Fayette Mall, which also benefits the UK Children's Hospital.

The University of Kentucky Children's Hospital is the local beneficiary for the 15th year of the annual Children's Miracle Network campaign to raise money for 170 children's hospitals across North America.

All proceeds raised in Kentucky stay in Kentucky to benefit the UK Children's Hospital, the only participating hospital in the state.

In the past 15 years, CMN has raised more than $7.5 million for the UK Children's Hospital. Last year through CMN, Kentuckians gave $1,052,000 to UK Children's Hospital, reaching the Hospital's $1 million fund-raising goal.

For more information about the Children's Miracle Network Celebration and the auction or how to donate to the UK Children's Hospital, call (859) 257-1121.


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