Annaliese Holland is like any normal 22-year-old – she likes to go out and have fun with my friends, spend time with her family and do the things she loves.
She planned on travelling the world and studying to become a paramedic, fulfilling her lifelong mission of helping others.
However, around nine years ago, when Annaliese was 12 years old, her life was set on a path that she had no control over.
With one devastating health blow after another, Annaliese was diagnosed with an incurable disease called Autoimmune Autonomic Gangliopathy (AAG), which means her body creates antibodies that attack her nervous system.
Annaliese spends her day managing chronic pain, intense nausea and crippling fatigue.
“I rely on being connected to an IV pole for up to 12 hours every night for nutrition and hydration to stay alive,” Annaliese said.
“I am unable to eat or drink because my stomach and intestines are paralysed, leaving me in debilitating pain, with lots of nausea and vomiting up to 20 times a day.”
AAG has caused Annaliese’s bladder to fail, requiring catheters and major surgeries, while also causing Addison’s Disease, severe osteoporosis and osteonecrosis of my hips, leaving her with screws and rods.
She has faced countless blood transfusions, blood infections, brain swelling and sepsis over 20 times, leaving her in ICU fighting for her life.
On top of this, Annaliese lives with endometriosis which leaves her with disabling symptoms.
Now, Annaliese is hoping to give back to the community who has guided her through the depths of pain and sadness by raising much-needed funds for Laurel Hospice.
“Death and dying isn’t just a medical event. It’s deeply personal, and life-altering for families of patients,” Annaliese said.
“I’m hoping to raise $30,000 for Laurel Hospice to leave behind a legacy of love, care and comfort for others living with a life-limiting illness.”
Laurel Hospice needs vital funds to support the staff and volunteers, as well as pet, art and music therapies.
Associate Professor Tim To is the Head of Unit for Southern Adelaide Palliative Service (SAPS) and delivers medical care to patients alongside other doctors, nurses and other health professionals in Laurel Hospice.
He also oversees the running of SAPS and caring for palliative care patients at home and in hospital, ensuring the quality of care and driving improvement in service delivery.
He says SAPS receives about 1,600 referrals per year, and Laurel Hospice admits about 600 patients each year.
In short, funding is essential for supporting people like Annaliese.
“Organisations such as The Hospital Research Foundation Group provide critical funding for palliative care services which enables extra services such as complementary care, art therapy, music therapy and to have a focus on the patient’s carers needs,” A/Prof To said.
“Funding helps us address a wider range of needs at the end of life.”
It’s not too late to donate! Help Annaliese raise $30,000 for Laurel Hospice and support her legacy of love, comfort and care. Donate online here.