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Losing a Child: Always Andy's Mom

As a pediatrician, married mom of three biological children and one foster son, my life was busy, rushing off to my office four days a week, seeing patients for three and working as a medical director of a local physician organization for one. I balanced this with rushing off to shuttle my kids to after sports and other after school activities. All of this changed one day in August of 2018 when my 14 year old son, Andy, was killed in a car accident. I felt like my life was over, and in some ways it was over, and a new life was forced to begin in its place. 

Grief is seldom discussed openly in our culture, and the death of a child makes people feel even more uncomfortable. On this blog and podcast, ‘Losing a Child: Always Andy’s Mom’, the topic is approached openly and honestly, speaking to people who have lost loved ones and experts who help care for them. Whether you are a parent experiencing loss or someone who wants to support another going through this tragedy, this blog and podcast strives to offer hope and help.

Sep 15, 2019

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In this episode, I talk with Stephanie Hogan, whose 12 year old daughter died two years ago. Stephanie's daughter, Keyan, was born as a premature quadruplet and although her three sisters were all relatively healthy, Keyan had medical complications from birth. Keyan was unable to eat and required IV nutrition for many years, which caused additional complications and pain. 

Stephanie discussed Keyan's death, and how she and her family have coped over the past year. Grief is work, hard work, and although she thought her family was 'prepared', she quickly learned that was not the case. Even when a parent knows her child is dying, it cannot seem real until it happens. 

We discuss these past two years and how her second year differed from the first. We talk about things that others do to help that may not always be helpful. She also talks about how her three remaining quadruplet daughters miss their fourth.

Stephanie and I met at a support group at Starlight Ministries a year ago.  They offer support groups for both children and adults who have had family members die. I interviewed the program director Gwen Kapcia, in Episode 2. They offer retreats and camps in addition to their support groups.