Well-wishers have donated more than $25,000 in 24 hours to an Anchor Point woman and her 11-year-old daughter who were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries following a Christmas Day wreck near Anchor Point.
Mathany Christine Satterwhite, a pregnant 29-year-old woman, and her daughter Angelica Haakenson were both flown to Anchorage for medical treatment after Satterwhite’s truck broke down on the side of the Sterling Highway as the two headed home from a Christmas dinner.
Another Anchor Point resident, Nathan Sargeant, had stopped in front of Satterwhite’s truck to jump-start it when a third vehicle slid into them.
Satterwhite, standing in front of the truck connecting jumper cables, was thrown into the ditch by the impact. Angelica, however, was pinned between the truck and Sargaents van. She had to be extricated, suffering multiple spinal fractures and ultimately loosing both of her legs above the knee during an emergency surgery a few hours later, said her aunt Emily Haakenson.
The driver of the vehicle that collided with the two stopped vehicles was another Anchor Point man, Larry Pyatt. He and Sargaent suffered minor injuries in the crash, according to an Alaska State Troopers report.
As word of the accident spread, family members set up accounts for donations and friends began organizing art auctions and charity events to benefit the two. More than 350 people donated $26,400 in 24-hours on a GoFundMe donation page that Emily Haakenson set up. Angelica’s goofy grin dominates the page, which has been shared more than 1400 times.
“Thousands of people have come forward offering what they can to contribute to (Angelica’s) recovery,” Emily Haakenson wrote in a message. “Whether it’s a prayer, well wishes, lodging, food, rides, plane tickets, donations, or one of the many, many other ways people have offered to help, we cannot express enough how thankful we are.”
The volume of donations has been overwhelming, Emily Haakenson said.
Both Satterwhite and her unborn baby survived. Angelica Haakenson underwent another surgery Saturday afternoon to clean up her amputations.
“The accident happened at about 6 (p.m.) on Christmas night. When she was finally medevaced to Providence (hospital in Anchorage) it was midnight or 1 a.m.,” Emily Haakenson said.
“They had to wait a little bit for her to stabilize before they could get her into surgery and they had to perform surgery as soon as they could to get her legs off, because they were so damaged. But they had to keep the surgery as short as possible and they left them open. Today, they’re going in and cleaning them up because there’s a lot of debris in there.”
The young girl has woken up from her Saturday surgery and Satterwhite has been able to walk, according to a Facebook community called “Mathany and Angelica Updates” that has been set up for the two.
“(Angelica) has woken up a few times,” Emily Haakenson said. “She’s been heavily sedated. I think the longest she’s been awake is 20 minutes.”
The young Chapman Elementary School student cannot speak as she has a breathing tube, but she did motion for a pen and paper upon waking.
“Her first questions were, how did it happen and how is my mom?” Emily Haakenson said. “Even when she was told about her legs, her main concern was making sure that her mom was OK. One thing that was great to see was one of the messages that she wrote to her stepmom, asking her if she’s OK. She wants to make sure that her mom and her stepmom and her dad, who are there, are OK.”
The girl then asked to see her friends and cousins.
Two artists, Homer-based Chelsea Horn and Soldotna-based Karrie Hill, are auctioning their work via Facebook to donate to Angelica Haakenson’s recovery. Thus far, nearly $1400 has been offered for their pieces.
As the attention pours in, family members have shown the girl some of the messages sent by well-wishers.
“She wants to know that people are contacting her mother as well,” Emily Haakenson said. “She wants to know that her mom is being thought of also.”
Find updates on the injured on Facebook.
Reach Rashah McChesney at firstname.lastname@example.org