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Back from the brink: Rare pain issue nearly cost Burdett her life

September 21, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

Krista Burdett Knoch senior who overcame mysterious nerve injury to hip to return to soccer field last season at her home in Winfield twp. on Wednesday July 18, 2012.(Justin Guido photo)

Everything they say about dying is true, says Krista Burdett.

“Yes, I saw the light. It's a real thing,” Burdett says. “Nothing happened other than I saw it. It was like picture frame, black at the bottom and a big circle of light in the top corner. A really bright light. Brighter than the sun.”

Burdett was dead for a little more than a minute, her body flushed with a potent cocktail of ketamine and lidocaine.

The mixture stopped her heart.

But it was a risk Burdett and her doctor at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Charles Yang, were willing to take to stop Burdett's pain.

Debilitating, relentless, agonizing pain.

Despite the scare, Burdett and her doctor were undeterred.

“We went back and did it again,” Burdett said. “I'm not sure where my brain was at this point. We were desperate.”

The 25-year-old's brush with death was just one plot twist on a story arc of sadness, despair and, ultimately, triumph over a rare pain condition that molded her young life.

This is an excerpt, pick up Monday's Butler Eagle or subscribe online to read Krista's full story.

Mike Kilroy

Mike Kilroy

I joined the Butler Eagle in January of 2000 after spending five years at the Steubenville Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times, where I did everything from editing the sports section to knocking snow and ice off the Associated Press satellite dish. I graduated from Kent State University in 1994 with a degree in magazine journalism and a minor in skipping class. My honors include a 2007 Associated Press award for feature writing, a 2005 and 2007 Keystone award for column writing and a 2003 Golden Quill award for feature writing. I have a high game of 255 at Wii Bowling.