Tulare Girl Waits For Heart Transplant

Annalyce Ficher looks healthy as any five year old. But half of her heart isn't working and that's what caused{}the{}Tulare girl{}to have three open heart surgeries. The first took place a week after she was born.

Annalyce{}is bubbling with energy. She loves to dress up and put together puzzles on the kitchen floor. Since birth her Mom Amanda says half of Annalyce's heart hasn't functioned.{}"She has the left side of her heart that isn't functional. And it is very small."

Despite a weak heart the little lady is strong. She graduates from kindergarten in early June and she's made lots of friends. "Veronica, Jessica and Ralph. I got a whole bunch of friends."

Annalyce is now on a the transplant waiting list at a Children's Hospital in Palo Alto. She's on the priority 1-B list which means it could happen within six months to a year. Her Dad Manuel is cautiously optimistic. "If she's like this for a year I'm fine with that. I can wait a year. I don't want her waiting for a heart when she's really sick."

Of course getting the call is something the Fichers have no control over. This family of three is very close and her parents are very open when it comes to explaining just how ailing her little heart is. But Manuel says it's not always easy. "I'm not gonna lie to you guys. We cry a lot. We try not to cry in front of her because we don't want her to see us cry."

For now all they can do is wait. Annalyce's bag is packed. They just hope the call from Palo Alto comes sooner than later.

The Fichers do have medical insurance but they often miss work to take Annalyce to her doctor's appointments.

Two fundraisers are planned in July. The first is a barbecue at Exeter Park on July 14th from noon until four. There will also be a silent auction.

The following Saturday, July 21st, a dinner dance will be held at the Tulare TDES Hall. It starts at seven and ends at eleven. There is also take out food from 5-6:30 p.m.