LA CROSSE, Wis. — A La Crosse student who's battling a blood infection that could compromise her heart has had her prom dress paid off by her mother's co-workers.

The La Crosse Tribune ( ) reports that 17-year-old Kristen Meyers went to a store in downtown La Crosse on March 28 to make another payment on the dress. But she was handed an envelope with a note that said the dress costing more than $500 had been paid off.

Also included in the envelope was $260 for dinner or accessories for the Logan High School junior.

"I just started crying," Meyers said. "Most of the people who donated didn't even know me personally. It was unbelievable how people stepped up."

Meyers' mother, Lisa Meyers, said the teen was born with heart disease and has had heart surgery twice. She was susceptible to infections because of the disease, and she was hospitalized multiple times this year before doctors found a blood infection.

Meyers is receiving medications intravenously 24 hours a day, and doctors think she'll beat the infection by prom May 9.

Lisa Meyers works at Ballweg Midwest Toyota in downtown La Crosse. More than 25 of her co-workers donated to help out her daughter, said co-worker Val Wilson.

"We were blindsided," Lisa Meyers said. "I still can't even talk about it because it makes me cry my eyes out."