Helping Annika Heal

For: Annika Mullings
Organizer: Annika's Family & Friends
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 230 donors
46% Complete

The Story

On October 8th, 2013, 17-year old Annika had a massive brain bleed which resulted in a life-saving brain surgery. She has been hospitalized since and had another brain surgery to remove the AVM, which caused the initial bleed. 

Annika moved home on December 27, 2013, to continue her recovery. She still needs 24/7 care so for now her father, Javier, is acting as her primary care giver with the help of Annika's mother and grandparents. She also has regular nursing care who visit her at home on a daily basis to help the family out. She will continue to receive physical and other therapies and will be visiting her doctors via medical transports at the Oakland Children's Hospital.  While returning home was the best option and Annika seems truly happy to be home, making sure Annika's daily needs are met is extremely costly. 

We are all waiting for the day when we will see Annika's eyes open and a smile on her face.  In the meantime, we're remembering the beautiful, sensitive girl who wrote the ode below  We can't wait for her to wake up so she can see how many people love and care for her.  We're so grateful for all of you!

We ask for your prayers during this period of healing, and if you are able, your financial support.  We thank you for helping the family in whatever way possible. If your heart is so inclined, consider making a monthly donation. And please, share Annika's story whenever possible. We believe strongly that she is responding to the love and support of friends and generous strangers everywhere. Thank you.

"Almost all of the time,
you tell yourself you're
loving someone when
you're just using them."
Shall I describe true
love? Love is a Teddy
Bear. For only a Teddy
Bear is there to hold
onto when nothing else
is real, to cry into when
your composure has
crumbled. You, my
Teddy Bear, are the
only who would not
judge. As it seems the
sorrow of my soul only
emerges for you, for I
sense my dear Bear will
never abandon me. You
appreciate my love and
I am grateful. To wake
up to your profound
black eyes, the
numerous gashes in
your fur from our 
continuous adventures,
and the ever-invitation
of your out-stretching
arms (which I would fall
into without a second
thought) is ideal. Alas,
you will remain a
beautiful nightmare. Not
only are you my
greatest friend, but also
my worst enemy. In one
second, you could
shatter my heart or
make me whole. In your
paw, you hold my life
and a slight lean could
destroy me forever. As
for now, it seems as if
you don’t care for the
things you don’t have,
as it appears the only
thing you desire is my
company. When we
embrace, I don’t feel so
alone. But still I must
wonder, dear, dear
Teddy Bear, will you
remain the only one (an
inanimate object that
clutches my love)? Are
you going to be all I
ever have?"

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 8, 2014 by Annika's Family & Friends
Annika just spent this past weekend in the ICU at Children's Hospital.  She had a high fever, but thankfully, it was brought down pretty quickly.  She is now home.  :-)

Annika's papa has returned to Costa Rica.  He was able to be with her for about 6 months when she first came home from the hospital. He had to return to Costa Rica, and then he was able to come back again for another two months.  Her care is now being provided by a wonderful nurse (Monday-Friday 8-4) and the rest of the time by her Mama, brother, and grandparents (who travel from Santa Rosa).  Her grandparents come weekly to drive her to her weekly physical therapy sessions, or to medical appointments as needed.  We also have a few volunteers who are "on call" .

Posted on September 2, 2014 by Annika's Family & Friends

Allison, Fran (Annika's nurse) and I took Annika to her clinic appointment today with Dr. Aguilar (Rehab doctor from Children's - AKA the brain whisperer!!), Mary Jane (PT) and KB (OT).

WOW!!! It was such a wonderful report!!!! Dr. Aguilar had not seen her since April and she was very happy with Annika's progress! She is soooo much more alert!!!

She noticed that there was less tone in her legs - not nearly as "upset" when touched. She didn't pull back like she had when she was in the hospital.

Dr. Aguilar wants to decrease more of her medications (and she doesn't have too many now) so that perhaps by December, she will be off all of them!

She was also amazed at how different she looks! Annika has grown a couple of inches, her feet have grown, and, unfortunately, she has gained weight.... We will be decreasing her food intake for a while, and then on September 9th, she will start going to a GI clinic. There will be a nutritionist there as well as the GI doctors.

We were really flying high after the meeting this morning!!! Woohoo!!

Posted on June 3, 2014 by Annika's Family & Friends
Annika is 18 today!!!!  We are so happy to be able to spend this day with her.  She is our inspiration.....

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Annika's Family & Friends
A really good thing from PT today was talking to Annika about making choices, asking her to blink her eyes if she liked a red object as opposed to a blue one.  She was able to do that this morning & that's why she had a red cover on her tray instead of a blue one!!!!!

Posted on March 7, 2014 by Annika's Family & Friends
At PT today, Annika operated a thumb switch to move some penguins up a slide.  She did it a dozen times.

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Annika's Family & Friends
Annika has been moving her right fingers, hand and arm a little bit more.  We are encouraged each day with her progress - slow but sure. 

Posted on December 31, 2013 by Annika's Family & Friends
Check out the video I got when Allison was asking Annika to move her fingers 12/28/13

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