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KSDK news anchor Anne Allred has been through a rough five years

From the As seen on TV: A look at some favorite St. Louis TV personalities series
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KSDK's Anne Allred

Nora Lammert, 5, right, provides a comforting touch to her mother, Anne Allred, center, who sits quietly while Dawn Rosetti, left, a registered nurse with Coram CVS/specialty infusion, takes Anne's blood pressure in Anne's Creve Coeur home. 

Anne Allred is familiar with the Bible passage about God not giving anyone more problems than they can handle.

And in light of the trials recently thrown in Allred’s path, the KSDK news anchor’s reaction should come as no surprise.

“Well, God certainly wasn’t pulling any punches the last five years,” she said.

A few years before COVID-19 shutdowns, Allred endured a difficult pregnancy that caused her daughter to be born three months premature.

Just weeks after that, Allred’s kidneys failed and she had to endure seven months of daily dialysis until she underwent a transplant operation.

And now, because transplant patients have to be especially careful about viruses and infectious diseases, her post-coronavirus world has yet to return to anything close to its old normal.

“Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only person not moving on with life after COVID-19,” Allred said in her usual style — to the point, fact-filled and anger-free.

“But that’s OK, because I’m done with the whole ‘woe is me’ part.”

KSDK's Anne Allred

Anne Allred's daughter, Nora Lammert, 5, walks under the tubing attached to Anne's arm as she plays in the family room of her home in Creve Coeur.

Road to success

Allred is a St. Louis girl to the bone, even though she spent almost 10 years out of town as she worked at several television stations.

Born in Kirkwood, the 39-year-old Allred is the daughter of Allen Allred, a retired lawyer, and Dawn Allred-Kraemer. She has two younger brothers.

Allred went to high school at Villa Duchesne, where she was the editor of the high school newspaper and seemed to be headed toward a career in print reporting.

In fact, she kept that goal her first two years at Ohio State University. But after her sophomore year, she came home for the summer and worked an internship at KSDK. When she returned to college, her focus switched to television news.

After graduating from Ohio State with a journalism degree, she headed off to her first TV job, in North Carolina. Then she returned to Columbus, Ohio, for her second gig.

In 2006, she was hired by WHDH (Channel 7) in Boston, that market’s NBC affiliate at the time. She worked there for almost seven years, the last five as co-host of the morning news show.

To say she was held in high regard by her former colleagues would be an understatement.

Less than a year after joining KSDK, Allred returned to Boston in October 2013 to cover the Cardinals in the World Series against the Red Sox.

Her reunion with old work pals broadcasting outside of Fenway Park was a prime example of the irreverent, one-of-the-guys reunions reserved for respected former colleagues, complete with hugs, high-fives and cries of “deserter” and “traitor.”

When Allred told the Boston crew that “of course, I’m rooting for the Cardinals,” her former co-host, Byron Barnett, accused Allred of reading that line from a cue card.

Coming back home

After being hired by KSDK and returning home in January 2013, all signs indicated that good things were coming Allred’s way.

First assigned as mainly a nightside reporter, Allred anchored only the 5 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Mike Bush.

But within a year, she was added to the 10 p.m. edition and became the main co-anchor, along with Bush.

The pair now anchors the two main newscasts at 6 and 10 p.m., and Allred has picked up several local Emmy Awards along the way.

Even better, the personal side of her life was coming up roses. In 2014, she married Drew Lammert, a lawyer at McCarthy, Leonard and Kaemmerer.

Lammert went to De Smet Jesuit High School and was part of Allred’s group of pals from her high school days, a group that has maintained its ties over 20 years.

And the good news just kept breaking. In early 2016, Allred announced she was having a baby.

Turn for the worse

But soon after that, Allred’s story took its challenging turn.

The baby, Nora, was due to arrive in late August, but instead made her appearance on May 25, 2016 — three months early.

Nora spent the first 96 days of her life in St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

“I didn’t even get to see her the first three days. And when I did, she was in this plastic box, her skin was almost transparent.

“I mean, I didn’t even get to hold her,” Allred said, her voice cracking slightly for the only time during an interview with the Post-Dispatch.

Nora’s condition slowly but steadily improved, but the same could not be said for Allred’s.

In early July, about six weeks after Nora was born, Allred’s kidneys failed.

Doctors told her the kidney problems started with preeclampsia during her pregnancy, which then triggered a rare disorder that causes blood clots in major organs.

“They were telling me I had clots all over my body,” she said. “The doctors were freaking out.”

Allred underwent surgery and was hospitalized numerous times. She had daily dialysis treatment because her kidneys were operating at about 3% efficiency.

“That summer, I’d spend nine hours a day on dialysis and then I’d go see my daughter in the NICU,” Allred said.

“That whole summer is still cloudy in my memory,” she said, dismissing the old adage about taking things one day at a time. “I was taking it one breath at a time.”

Another challenge Allred faced during her recovery was internal, a product of her personality.

“Drew was a champion, along with my family and friends,” Allred said, but then confessed. “But for a control freak like me, it’s really hard to just say ‘you take care of it.’”

But of all the support Allred received that summer, she made special note of her mother, who often was the person pushing Allred’s wheelchair when she couldn't get around on her own.

“My mom was my rock,” she said. “And I realized that anything that hurt her daughter, hurt her too.”

Back at work

Allred managed to return to work in October 2016. Even though she was undergoing daily dialysis, she still managed to anchor the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.

But early 2017 brought a shot of the best news. Allred told viewers in January that an old friend called her to say he was a donor match.

At that time, the donor did not want to be identified, but he has since acquiesced.

“His name is Mike Zangara, a De Smet guy, one of that old group of friends from high school,” Allred said, who then leaned forward to supervise the note-taking.

“That’s Mike Zangara, Z-a-n-g-a-r-a.”

So by mid-2017, and for the next two-plus years, Allred’s life returned to some version of normal — albeit one that included ongoing concerns about Nora’s health, the need for periodic infusions and the back-of-mind reality that somewhere down the road, Allred likely will need another transplant.

And then came coronavirus.

Going viral

In the early spring of 2020 while the nation wondered how dangerous the virus would prove to be, transplant recipients had no doubts.

Because of her transplant, Allred takes medication to suppress her immune system and therefore was in the highest-risk category.

So early on in the outbreak, Allred sequestered herself at her west St. Louis County home, and a studio was installed for her to handle her anchoring duties.

KSDK anchor Anne Allred

Anchor Anne Allred works a newscast from a studio set up in her basement.

(Photo by KSDK)

Allred did not return to the KSDK studios until last month, where she wears a mask whenever possible and tries as best she can to maintain a 6-foot social distance.

Carol Fowler, KSDK’s content director, came to the station two years ago, well after Allred’s transplant.

“So I sort of inherited her, but it didn’t take long: I like Anne a lot,” Fowler said, then noted Allred’s skills.

“She’s whip-smart, a good writer and she’s always willing to roll up her sleeves and get things done,” Fowler said.

Over time, the normally private Allred shared some of her ordeal with Fowler.

“And when I started to get a peek behind the curtain, well, I’m frankly in awe of what she’s accomplished,” Fowler said.

As to the continuing coronavirus situation, Allred said: “Forget COVID. When you’re a transplant patient, a cold is a big thing.”

And like many others stuck at home during the shutdowns, Allred engaged in some heavy-duty closet cleaning, which proved to be an emotional experience.

KSDK's Anne Allred

Dawn Rosetti, left, a registered nurse with Coram CVS/specialty infusion, starts the infusion for Anne Allred on June 3 at Anne's Creve Coeur home. Anne gets treatment every other month to prevent the reoccurrence of Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a very rare condition. 

“I found all of these things that people sent me during the time with Nora and my transplant,” she said.

“There were trinkets, prayer cards, medals, handwritten messages, even handmade blankets. And all from people I’ve never even met,” she said, still sounding surprised several years later by all the goodwill.

When asked what lessons she may have learned over her last five years, Allred did not miss a beat.

“You know, I’ve thought about that a lot and there is only one thing I know for sure,” Allred said.

“I know I would do it all over again — all of it — to have that child.”

This is part of a monthly series about local TV anchors. Find previous stories here.


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