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STAYING POSITIVE: Minden young adult faces disease, upcoming surgeries

by Minden Press-Herald

 “I don’t need it to be easy, I just need it to be possible,” Krista Johnson said as she spoke of her health journey. 

Krista was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and a failing liver which has caused her spleen to enlarge. She is now awaiting a transplant for a kidney and a liver. 

Krista is a 22 year old real estate agent. She and her mother, Linda provide for her three younger sisters, Sarah, Abigail, and Elizabeth after losing her father to brain cancer. 

“I’m just glad there’s a fix to it because I was afraid I had cancer until they told me I didn’t. That was my biggest fear ever since my dad passed. Now I know that’s not the case because they’ve tested me for every cancer there is,” Krista said. 

Krista is staying positive as she waits for a more information about her pending surgery. She is planning her joint birthday party in January with a friend. They’ve made a tradition of going to IHOP at midnight on her birthday each year. 

“I’ve got to live in these moments. There’s not like there’s anything I can do to change it so I’m just focusing on trying to enjoy every moment I can,” Krista said. 

She’s visited Ochsner Health System in New Orleans for testing and and diagnosis. The recent discovery of her health issues has put Krista and Linda on hiatus from their work. A friend posted a Facebook fundraiser and GoFundMe account to assist with the expenses she’ll incur. 

“We’re the two people that work in our household and then they say we’re going to have to move to New Orleans for possibly six months or more, to us we didn’t see how that would be possible,” Krista said. 

“Everybody praying and loving on us, it really gives us strength and confidence. For God to speak to people and for people to hear him and respond is amazing,” Linda said. 

Krista, a Minden resident, is in the process of setting up surgeries that will cost an estimated. $1 million. Her insurance will only cover 80% of the costs. She will also have to secure a place to live in New Orleans near the Ochsner Health Center to be eligible for the transplant. 

“That’s the hard thing about being down there. It’s just her and I and we’re used to at least the pastors coming to pray. Down there it’s a whole different thing,” Linda said. 

On September 18, Krista was running a high fever after practicing in the play, Mama Mia and working out. Her back was in pain and she thought she had a urinary tract infection. Upon going to the hospital she realized her condition was much more serious.

“Isn’t it crazy that you can be pressing on to the point beyond your physical limitations so much that the doctors said they couldn’t believe she was conscious because she had so little red blood in her body,” Linda said. 

Krista says her family has been strong for her in a time of uncertainty.  

“They’re everything to me. My sister takes time out of her day to lay down and watch Friends with me. When I came home they cleaned my room for me. Especially my mom, more than anyone. The moment I found out something was wrong, I was hardly functioning in the hospital, and I never questioned whether my mom would step in for me,” Krista said. 

So far, online fundraising campaigns for Krista have raised over $12,000 towards her medical expenses. Other money has been donated through friends and church members through a special bank account set up for her at B1 bank. 

“I can’t believe the help and how people have stepped up. I knew I had people that cared about me but I didn’t know how many,” Krista said. 

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