FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Kristina Price received serious burns in a crash last month in Bakersfield.
Day by day, Kristina, or Tina for short, Price is healing inside the burn unit at Community Regional Medical Center. "She's not able to talk yet," Tina's aunt Debi Franklin said. "But she's able to mouth words and communicate much easier than she has in the past few days."
Franklin has been part of her support system after the Bakersfield mother of two was hit by a big rig a week before Christmas. "The main injuries have been her burns that are third-degree, 30 percent from her head down," Franklin said. "So, that's where the blood drive has been so vital and is so vital to her recovery."
The Central California Blood Center kicked off the drive Monday with signs inside the Jenny Eller Donor Center to help Tina. Debi says her niece is getting ready for her ninth surgery and will need blood.
Just recently, Tina's parents met a special burn survivor, Fresno Fire Captain Pete Dern at the hospital. "Lo' and behold they come out of the elevator one day, a couple weeks ago, and there was Pete Dern," Franklin said. "Pete was so kind and generous in sharing some encouraging words to Jerry and Sue about their daughter."
An uplifting message they needed in a challenging time.
Tina, who is a gospel singer and pianist, will need many more surgeries and blood in the coming months. "We all know that there is blood that's needed," Franklin said. "We don't really know the desperation of it until it affects someone you love that is a family member that is very close to you."
Right now the center is in great need of all blood types to help people across the valley.
The Tina Price Blood Drive runs this week. Valley residents can stop by any blood center location to make the life-saving gift.