As many of you know, the Cretan Chapter of Boston, Rathamanathus-Ide, took on a Herculean effort to raise funds necessary to bring Anastasia to Boston Children’s Hospital. We had never raised so much money before. We needed to prepay the hospital, just to get Anastasia an appointment. The efforts of the Greek community were amazing.
Our grand benefactors of this effort are The Tsialiamanis and Merlemis families of the Taverna Opa Restaurant Group. They have provided a great deal to make sure that everything would work out for the young girl. They are not alone in this effort. One person, who by chance read the article posted in The National Herald – Ethniko Kyrika, about a week after it was published (someone gave her the paper to read about something else) lives in Carlie, Pennsylvania. She took the issue to heart and started raising money through family and friends. Her efforts were very successful, and she was able to send money 2 or 3 times, always promising to send more.
Recently I was invited to a Makedoniko Chapter of the Hrisohorafiton “Alexander the Great” of Worcester, MA. They heard about our efforts, and they wanted to support the young girl. They reached out to their members and were able to provide us with a sizable donation. They were also great hosts and served us a delicious dinner. There is another family in Boston that continues to supply the family with food and makes biweekly visits, as the family continues to stay in rooms near Children’s Hospital. These rooms are provided by the Hellenic Cardiac Fund and they have been a safe harbor for hundreds if not thousands of families that have needed to come to Boston for medical care. If it wasn’t for efforts like these, we wouldn’t have been able to bring Anastasia to Boston.
Anastasia needed surgery to help her walk. She went through a 10-hour session where her doctors performed 14 different surgeries. She was born with a rare muscle dysmorphia and had been through multiple unsuccessful surgeries in Greece. Through the assistance of family friends and a surgeon from Miami, they were able to find a doctor that could perform the surgery needed to assist this young girl. This warrior princess, as I like to call her, has dealt with a lot in her young life, but her spirit is amazing. During the pandemic, she was not allowed to go to school, for health reasons, even after in-school learning was available. She was still able to record a grade of 17 out of 20, even though she didn’t attend any classes – all her assignments were given to her by her classmates, and had very little direct contact with her teachers.
Anastasia has an amazing attitude and spirit. When she woke up after surgery, she looked at her mom and said, “my feet, look they are straight!” She had never seen her feet line up straight before. She is still recovering and will soon start her rehab after she is fitted with braces for both of her legs. Her doctor is very happy with the outcome of the surgery and her prognoses going forward. She is set to start an aggressive rehab for the next three months. Due to the length of time in the United States, she will be celebrating her birthday here.
Please pray for this young girl and for all children that have medical needs. It would be great if all kids had healthy lives and no child should have to suffer, so please pray that there are good doctors who will do what is best for all children throughout the world. Once again, I would like to personally thank all the generous people who donated money to allow Anastasia to have the surgery she needed. On behalf of Anastasia and her entire family, I send a very big THANK YOU to every one of you, whether you donated, or prayed – without you she could not be here.