Jelena Hatfield

Jelena Hatfield (left) with Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons at the 1999 legislative hearings 1999

Doctors said Jelena Hatfield was near death when she was admitted to Washoe Medical Center in April 1998. At 16, she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, an illness caused by a bacterium or a virus that inflames the lining of the brain and spinal cord or infects the blood. Her body shut down, and Jelena went into shock.

Doctors helped get blood to her brain, heart and kidneys. But the lack of blood to her hands, feet and legs starved them of oxygen. Both legs and all her fingers had to be amputated.  Jelena went through months of medical treatment and physical therapy.  Jelena fought hard for her recovery.  Despite all of her challenges, Jelena became an invaluable champion in promoting the life-saving value of becoming an organ, tissue and blood donor.

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