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Transplant Patient: “I’m Lucky to be Alive”

IU Health University Hospital

Transplant Patient: “I’m Lucky to be Alive”

She thought she was dying. Now 11 years post-transplant, Kristina “Krissy” Dunn says she’s lucky to be alive.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

She was six months old when Kristina “Krissy” Dunn was diagnosed with gastro paresis, a disease where the stomach doesn’t empty properly.

“I had two viruses and my body only fought one. My organs grew to the size of a 12-year-old’s and then stopped growing,” said Dunn, of Franklin. She wasn’t able to eat and when she did she continually vomited.

She was in and out of the hospital for years and lived on a feeding tube.

Thirty-two years ago she married her husband Tony. They have four children between the ages of 12 and 30. In 2009 her husband came home and found Dunn on the floor. He rushed her to the hospital. A biopsy followed determining her liver was compromised.

“I was not an alcoholic or a drug addict. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me,” said Dunn. “It was an awful scary time, but I can’t say enough about the care I got from IU Health.”

A patient of IU Health Dr. Richard Mangus, Dunn received a liver transplant on July 9, 2009. “Before transplant I didn’t feel I could be there for my youngest. I was always afraid what might happen. Now I’m able to go to her volleyball games and not miss out,” said Dunn. “I’m lucky to be alive and I’ve taken care of my gift of life. It’s given me another decade to live.”