After a night of heavy, regrettable drinking, you can probably recall telling your buddies something along the lines of, “Dude, I nearly died last night.” While your hungover self is just being dramatic, Miss COED 2017 semifinalist Kristiana Eredia literally nearly died. Not from a night of bad decisions, but from an infection in her small intestine.
The now sophomore at Grand Canyon University was just 17 years old when four and a half feet of her small intestine were choked by scar tissue, causing toxic fluid to spread throughout her body and nearly shut down her organs. Doctors told her that if she had waited one more day, she would’ve died.
While this might cause some people to feel sorry for themselves, it’s Krissy’s attitude that helped her get through that tough time – and what makes her more determined than ever to take home the Miss COED 2017 final prize.
Get to know more about Krissy below – like her favorite GCU tradition – and be sure to check back daily as we get to know each of our contestants a bit better.
If you could travel anywhere in the world for Spring Break, where would you go?
I am OBSESSED with the beach. Arizona doesn’t have any beaches, so whenever I’m back home in Cali, I try to visit the ocean. I would personally love to spend my Spring Break somewhere tropical; somewhere near the beach. I’m also a sucker for sunsets! So anywhere that has beautiful beaches and sunsets is the place for me! Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica – the list goes on and on.
What’s your favorite school tradition?
Steal the Lope is such a funny tradition! But I have not personally been involved in it. There is a lope statue in front of the Student Union, and it’s moveable. The graduating class will steal the Lope and hide it. Then suddenly, it appears in the most random place. My favorite annual tradition I have actually been a part of has to be Hanging of the Greens. This event is a formal that includes dancing, free food, a live band, and awesome pictures. Most of the school participates, and I love how it brings us all together.
Give your BFF a shoutout! What’s his/her name and how long have you been besties?
If you’re not dating your best friend, you’re doing it wrong. ;) So obviously my boyfriend is my best friend. We have been dating for almost three years and I love him very much. But a girl also needs her maid of honor! My best girl friend is Kelsie Estebo. We have been best friends since Kindergarten. That’s 14 years of friendship! Our birthdays are only two weeks apart. We even have the exact same initials “KAE.” This girl has a special place in my heart, and I could not be more blessed by her! Love you Kels.
Is there an event or organization you’re passionate about that you’d like people to know more about?
“It’s On Us” was nationally launched in 2014 by the White House. This campaign brings awareness to the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. The focus of this movement is to provide women and men with the necessary tools to become active bystanders during scenarios where sexual assault can be stopped. GCU’s center of attention is making sure that we are not idle bystanders to the problem sexual assault, but that we realize we have a role to play by being a part of the solution. The solution begins with us, and I have already taken the pledge. The pledge of the campaign is to “RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur, INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”
Everyone should take the pledge to raise awareness, and empower one another to take action to stop sexual assault!
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!