A 14-year-old Knox Middle School student who died Saturday, Feb. 8 after a seven-month hospital stay will be laid to rest tomorrow in her hometown. Christina Franks lived a month and a day past her 14th birthday. She was diagnosed in July of 2011 with cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart and was admitted to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis two years later when her left ventricle began to fail. Last August, Christina had surgery to install an exterior pump to take over the work of her failing heart until a donor organ could be located. Prior to that procedure, Christina told the surgeon she feared she would be forgotten because she was so far from her home in Knox. Complications led to a second surgery a few weeks later to install a heart defibrillator and pacemaker. Christina had a stroke after that procedure, and it affected her movement in her arms and legs and her speech. She did not fully recover from the first stroke and suffered a second one last November. It damaged the right side of her brain in her middle cerebral artery, which took her off the transplant list. Christina had a third surgery in December to replace her exterior pump, as a large blood clot had developed. Prior to that procedure, her doctors told her family her heart was not strong enough to pump on its own. The medical staff had to perform CPR on Christina during the 10 minute procedure in order to keep her alive.
She fought valiantly for seven months before losing her battle last Saturday. Her family asks that businesses in Knox honor her life today and tomorrow by changing their outdoor signs to read “Christina Never Forgotten.” Her funeral is Saturday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. at New Hope Baptist Church, 2485 S. 350 E., in Knox. Visitation will take place Friday, Feb. 14 from 3-9 p.m. at Braman & Son Memorial Chapel in Knox and Saturday one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be given to her family.
Remembrances may be left on Facebook in the group Christina Fan Page: Prayers for Christina or on her page on the website caringbridge.org. Here’s a link to her page: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/christinafranks