Local woman’s grit, resolve an inspiration

The electrifying smile that Kristin Fox bore was unexpected during her emotional homecoming last week — especially considering she was returning from a 100-day hospital stay following an illness that was so serious that both arms and legs had been amputated.

But it was her words that were even more inspiring.

This 39-year-old Campbell Memorial High School assistant principal and longtime educator would be beginning a new life facing adversity that would have broken the spirit of a lesser person.

Instead, she spoke confidently from her motorized chair, rattling off her goals to return to work, to walk into a varsity basketball game this fall where her brother will be coaching and even to run again. But before all that, she is resolved to return to a normal family life with her husband and young children.

No doubt it was Kristin’s sheer determination, grit and fighting spirit that played a vital role in saving her life.

On March 9, Kristin was taken to St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital for influenza A, but later developed septic shock, a life-threatening bloodstream infection that often leads to dangerously low blood pressure levels and organ failure. She was given four blood-pressure medications that, as a side effect, significantly compromised her circulation.

Consequently, in late March and early April, she had her arms and legs amputated below the elbows and knees. Kristin came home last week from UPMC Medical Center in Pittsburgh, where she was receiving rehabilitation therapy and being primed for prosthetic devices.

She has an incredibly long and difficult road ahead of her, both physically and emotionally.

Her friends and family know she will make those climbs successfully.

“This day was a long time coming. Many of us didn’t think this day would happen. … It speaks to who she is as a person. It’s just in her to be a fighter,” her lifelong friend Lisa Saxon said.

Kristin shared heartfelt gratitude.

“Not everybody has the friends I have. When you get that close to death, you see that,” she said.

The resolve and drive of Kristin Fox, despite adversity in the form of physical setbacks that would defeat most of us indefinitely, is no less than incredible.

We wish her continued improved health, much love, prayers and support from her family and her community, and continued motivation with help from God to push forward during these very challenging times ahead.



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