Fight like a Hogan

Today I woke up aching and have been complaining about a pinched nerve in my shoulder all day.

Its annoying and uncomfortable but that’s all. Its not life threatening, it doesn’t require special doctors, or even surgery.

After seeing the story below on another blog I clicked over to Facebook to read their story myself.

This beautiful family has seen it all – two kids with congenital heart defects and a mother with oral cancer that has hit them twice. Now they are waiting on another biopsy to see if her cancer has returned for a third time. If so she will undergo chemo to shrink the tumor but not will cure her of this cancer.

Here is their story in her own words

My name is Melissa Hogan. I am happily married to my husband, Jeremy Hogan, since March 15, 2003. My husband is the assistant superintendent at our local school and I am a paraprofessional at the school also plus in back in college to earn a nursing degree.

Our journey started when I gave birth to our baby boy, Hestan Brent Hogan, in November of 2003. Shortly after birth we discovered that Hestan was born with many heart defects. Hestan suffers from Hyplplastic Left Heart Syndrome..Transposition of the Great Arteries..Mitral Valve Atresia..Tricuspid Atresia and Pulmonary Atresia. Hestan had his first open heart surgery at 2 days old..a second surgery at 2 months old (after we discovered he was in congestive heart failure) a 3rd surgery at 5 months old..and his last surgery at 3 1/2 years old. He has also had numerous heart catherizations and 1 major surgery to remove an aneurism off his femoral artery that we found a few days after a routine heart catherization. Hestan currently has a valve that is leaking and will have to be surgically repaired but Doctors are going to wait until it is absolutely necessary..because it is a very risky surgery and if not successful could land him on the transplant list. Hestan is a patient at Cooks Children's Hospital in Ft Worth TX..and we have the best Cardiologist, Dr. Lisa Roten..and heart surgeon..Dr. Vincent the entire world!

We were told after we had Hestan..that we had a less that 2% chance or any future children of ours having heart didn't run in our family history and Doctors said it just doesn't happen..its like lightning striking twice!

We found out at 5 months pregnant that our 2nd child...Brynlee Hope Hogan..would be born with similar heart condition as her brother. We were shocked and devastated. Brynlee was born on July 11, 2007 . Her heart condition was listed as a Double Inlet Left Ventricle and Transposition of the Great Arteries. Brynn had her first surgery at 9 days old and her 2nd at 5 months old..and has a surgery coming up this summer (summer of 2011).

Both kids are doing very well and are as "normal" as can be. Hestan is in 3rd grade and is very smart and plays soccer with a soccer league. He does get tired easily and has to rest some..but he knows his limits and accepts them. Brynlee is in dance and ballet classes and loves that! The kids are miracles and blessings to our life's. Its actually been a good thing for our family! The kids have matching scars..go to Dr. appointment together..take the same meds..both have the same limits..and one cant to anything the other works very well for our family..God knew what he was doing when he put them into our lives! We are very blessed to have been "The Chosen Ones" to be Hestan and Brynlees parents.
I was diagnosed with a rare form of Tongue Cancer in May the age of 26. It came a a complete I am not a smoker drinker or tobacco chewer. I had a surgery in May 09 to remove 1/3 of my tongue then underwent 7 weeks of intense oral radiation at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston TX over summer 2009. I recover well and lived a normal life for a month after treatment..then started having all the same symptoms I had when I first found my cancer. My cancer came back in Dec 09..and was awful. I had a major surgery then to remove almost my entire tongue. Doctors took muscle and tissue from my right thigh to build me a new tongue. I had a feeding tube and trache for a while. I am left with horrible scars..missing teeth..not very clear speech..and trouble eating..but I'm alive. I've been told that if my cancer returns..i have no hope. My cancer doesn't respond to chemotherapy..I've had all the oral radiation the Doctors can do..and I have no options for any further surgery. family is strong believers in God and we have Faith and Hope and just know that I am going to be ok!

I remember being told after Hestan was born "God gives special babies to special people" I believe God chose us for a reason to be parents to 2 such special kids..and I do not think God would give them to me..and then take me away from them! God has a reason for everything..and one day we will see the bigger picture..and until them..we just trust in him and believe in him and have faith in him..we have no choice but to. He has allowed us to witness many miracles..such a blessing!

And to think I was complaining about my poor shoulder.

Take two minutes and click over and like their Facebook page and then start praying – and keep praying for healing in their family.


  1. wow, really makes you count your lucky stars. thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for posting about our family! we are all doing well now and have been blessed with good health the past few months! God bless you for sharing our story!

    Melissa Hogan
    Fight Like A Hogan