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Great News!

An update on Anna Harrington and Baby Irene

I’m thrilled and relieved to be able to pass on to you all that both Anna Harrington and her baby Irene are alive. They are in intensive care, but they’re going to make it. Baby Irene was born with some serious birth defects, but she’s here, and she’s going to live; that’s the important thing. Irene’s mother had a long and very difficult surgery, and lost a lot of blood, but pulled through and is now resting in the ICU.

You can imagine how relieved we all are. Thank you for your prayers and for your donations to the Go Fund Me account set up to provide help for the Harrington family in this time of great need. They have a very long and difficult road ahead of them. People from all over the world have been giving to help this missionary family. I hope that at least some of you can come down to St. Francisville one day and meet them, and see what your generosity has helped do for the Harringtons, and for the people they serve. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And above all on this day, thanks be to God, and glory to Him for all things!

UPDATE: From the GoFundMe site, these updates by the man who started the campaign:

Well, it’s been one heck of a day. This morning, Father Matthew checked Matushka Anna in, and after the usual long registration procedures, Anna was given a main line IV. I don’t have all of the details yet, and probably don’t understand a lot of them, so I hope that Matushka Elizabeth chimes in and gives us a better update. In summary, the Harringtons are the proud parents of Irene Elizabeth, who despite being delivered rather early, came in at a pretty good birthweight right over five pounds. Father tells me she is pink, has a steady heart rate, and stable respiration. She is missing one eye and part of her nose, but is very much alive. The hospital has not yet done the functional genetic testing, but we are praying fervently that what issues she has are cosmetic, and we are guardedly – and prayerfully – optimistic. The team of attending surgeons did a spectacular job. Modern medicine has come a long way, and cosmetics can be dealt with. More on that to follow.

Anna also made it through a very complex and dicey multihour surgery and lost a tremendous amount of blood. Her condition is known as placenta previa, and in her case, the placenta actually invaded and interwove itself into internal organs. This operation, too, was extremely complex, almost as complex as brain surgery, for the simple reason that the interweaving just makes for more opportunities to miss something in the surgical removal and in the tying off of blood sources. Anna did sustain some significant damage to some organs, some of which will be permanent, but, thanks be to God, she made it!

I will not post any photographs of baby Irene yet, because we want to wait until Anna is out of sedation and has the opportunity as Irene’s mother to be the first to smile upon the new citizen of the world. Father tells me that Anna is expected to be brought out of sedation possibly tomorrow, but she still has quite a bit of intensive care to go through. As mentioned, she lost a tremendous amount of blood.

The other three Harrington children are at home with Matushka Elizabeth Philo’s mother, also the wife of a priest. As many of you know, Matushka Elizabeth will stand as baby Irene’s godmother.

Friends of the Harrington family, friends from the Church, and concerned world citizens who have opened your hearts and poured out tremendous generosity, I humbly thank you for responding to these unworthy efforts. We’re not out of the woods yet. It is our intention to make sure that the Harrington children, all four of them, are taken care properly, and that Anna, after her long and arduous recovery, is able to be there for those children without having to be concerned about having to choose between required medical procedures and putting food on the table or making sure those little tykes can go to school. It is also our intention to selfishly make sure that Father Matthew, a priest who truly is the archetype of the Toiler in the Garden, is there not only for his family, but for us, because we need the type of role model he is, and we can learn from the manner in which he selflessly shoulders these tests and burdens, much like Job.

That we can do. We ask you to continue to remember this dynamic and modest priest, and his family, who sacrifice so much for us, by engaging in a little sacrifice ourselves.

We call again for your continued prayers, as well as your support, to make this a reality. I want to thank all of you who have sacrificed already, and I especially want to thank all the priests who have commemorated the Harringtons in the Proskomedia. Just remember, the prayers of laity are also golden, and we appreciate all of them.

Our campaign has achieved the $30,000 level. In conversations with a dear friend who also went through a complex birth, that’s a meaningful sum, but won’t come close to the needs. Please pass this campaign to your networks if you feel it is appropriate. And those of you who have already done that, thanks for your efforts.


Vladimir Saemmler-Hindrichs


Dear friends of the Harringtons, colleagues, members of the Church, and men and women of good will!

After reviewing the initial reports of the complex yet successful surgery that Matushka Anna and Baby Irene have gone through and discussing them with medical professionals among my own friends, I’ve decided to update the immediate goals of our campaign.

Father Matthew and Matushka Anna are much too modest to ever ask for anything, and are overwhelmed by your showing of love, support, and prayer. It remains up to us to make this happen, and I know we, God willing, can do this. Please activate your friends and networks, and let’s graphically show them that we take care of our own, much as Father takes care of us, and in imitation of Him, as He takes care of us.

In XC,

Vladimir (Vova) Saemmler-Hindrichs

Here’s the GoFundMe link.