If you spent your teens complaining about homework and how lame your mom was, here’s a dose of reality for you: At just 17 years old, Kristiana Eredia was battling an infection in her small intestine that nearly killed her. The now sophomore at Grand Canyon University was told that if she waited just one more day before going to the hospital, she would have died. In other words, your high school days were pretty damn good. Also, moms are the best.
Get to know more about our awesome Miss COED 2017 semifinalist below, and be sure to check back daily as we get to know each of our contestants a bit better.
What’s your biggest accomplishment thus far?
My biggest accomplishment is surviving and never giving up. Get knocked down three times, get up four. I had my first two surgeries when I was 16. I lost my gallbladder and my appendix. My third surgery took place almost a year later. I didn’t realize until my recovery that I was dying. I had encountered and conquered my death bed at the age of 17. Long story short, I was in the hospital profusely vomiting for four days before the doctors knew what was wrong with me. No pain medication worked on me, and I was basically in a never-ending cycle of vomiting with excruciating pain. There were tubes all over my body, one was going from my nostril down my throat into my stomach; a tube on the side of my hip suctioning excess stomach fluid, and an intravenous line for fluids and a pic line starting at my arm going towards my heart in case I had to undergo emergency surgery and a catheter. I was a mess.
On the fourth night, my parents and I decided to allow the surgeon to perform exploratory surgery to see if they could pinpoint the cause of all the vomiting.
Good news: The surgery would determine if it was an internal issue or bad news: It could be for nothing and my body just needed time to regulate itself. When the surgeon opened me up, they found that four and a half feet of my small intestine were blue, basically dead, choked by scar tissue inside my body from the previous surgery. This caused sepsis fluid to leak out toxic fluids. The surgeon said if they had waited one more day, my organs would have failed because of the septic fluid. I would have died. But I survived!
The doctors said my mindset to stay strong and have faith is what caused me to make it. The battle did not stop there because these surgeries set me back in everything. I came home weighing only 99 pounds from a healthy 125 pounds; my sports, my MMA training, my academic achievements, early scholarships and most of all, how my body functioned, were all affected negatively. I missed many opportunities, but I still pulled it together. I may have had three surgeries, but I have also had four triumphant returns!