People survive tragedy with the help of others.
Kaitlyn Dobrow lost all four of her limbs earlier this year after contracting meningococcal meningitis a year ago. She had been told she would have a week to live, and yet she just celebrated her 19th birthday with her family and friends at UC Irvine Medical Center, KTLA reports in the video above.
"Kaitlyn has had an amazingly positive and courageous attitude throughout this illness and is determined to have a happy, fulfilling life, believing that God has an awesome plan for her future," Kaitlyn's mother, Kathi, wrote on the fundraising page. "She is my hero."
Kaitlyn, who used to like to dance, box and do mixed martial arts, will undergo extensive physical therapy to relearn how to take care of herself. Her mother described the financial uncertainty that her family faces after her daughter's more than nine life-saving surgeries:
We don't even know yet when Katie will be done with her surgeries and out of ICU, or how long she will be in the hospital after ICU. The doctors don't know either. They have to just keep monitoring her daily and make decisions based on what they find each day. I also don't know how long she will be in the rehab facility, how much that will cost, or how much her prostheses will cost. We have A LOT to learn as we go through this process with her.
We may have to sell our current house as it has no bedrooms on the first floor, but in any case, we will need to make modifications to whatever house we live in, as well as purchase a vehicle, as both house and vehicle will need to be equipped to accommodate her needs.
Meningitis can be prevented by vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children be vaccinated for the first time at age 11 or 12, followed by a booster at age 16.
When asked where she saw herself in ten years, Dowbrow told KTLA she plans to be married, with children.
Click here to help Kaitlyn and her family.