Child Loss Grief

When a Family Cannot Afford to Fly Their Dying Daughter Home

Meet the Bogroffs—A loving, faithful family, who will have to say goodbye to their 7-year-old daughter soon. And they almost couldn't get her home.
Written by Karen Johnson

A mother’s greatest fear is losing her child. It is a thought that keeps us up all night, makes us grip our children’s tiny hands hard when crossing the street, and frantically rush to the pediatrician at the first sign of an ailment. We keep them safe, because that’s our job and our reason for being. Tragically, Pearcia Bogroff is facing that great fear. In the very near future, her sweet daughter Arden will likely leave her place here on Earth and join Jesus in heaven. And as if that isn’t painful enough, Arden’s family cannot afford to bring her home to Oregon where she can go in peace, surrounded by her loving family.

Arden Jane was born just seven short years ago, but she has lived a thousand lifetimes in comparison to most kids. Born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a rare congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped, Arden has lived much of her life in hospitals and has had numerous surgeries. 

Despite her constant health battles since birth, Arden’s family has always remained hopeful and faithful that God would take care of their sweet girl. Sadly, this past May, things took a turn for the worst, and they had to put their faith in the Lord once again. Previously a candidate for a heart transplant, Arden was now too weak, her body too tired to maintain her spot on the list. Once her organs started to cease functioning, her medical team knew it was time for her to enter end-of-life care. However, Arden had been receiving medical treatments in the ICU at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Only her family is from Oregon, and they wanted her to come home.

Due to her medical state, the flight home to OHSU Dornbecher Children’s Hospital, where Arden’s family and friends could see her and be by her side throughout her hospice care, costs $65,000. A monstrous cost that the Bogroff family cannot afford. That’s when their friends and family stepped in, creating a fundraising page to help bring Arden home. The YouCaring page entitled “Help Arden Jane and the Bogroff Family” has already raised $12,000 towards its $100,000 goal. On this page you can read about sweet Arden, her story, and how much her family loves her. And at the top of the page is a picture of Arden and her mom Pearcia. As a mother, this beautiful image will gut you. Because you can imagine the strength she must have that she didn’t even know was there. You can imagine the frustration she must have, that she cannot save her child. And you can image the fears she must have, in preparing for the future.

Pearcia tells Her View From Home that Arden is finally home in Oregon, and in hospice care, but they aren’t giving up yet as they “believe in miracles.” This positive outlook is characteristic of Pearcia and her family, according to the YouCaring page. “Having a child with high medical needs is a journey all its own and impacts every facet of life,” the page reads. “In spite of this, the Bogroff family has chosen to pursue happiness, joy, and good memories. They have a deep faith in God that carries and lifts them through good times and bad.” On her Facebook page, Pearcia shared some recent pictures of Arden and says, “She is such a fighter, continues to joke around and show her spunk. I’m so honored to be her mom!”

I will think of this picture tonight of sweet little Arden, who is the same age as my kids. I will lie next them and we will put our arms around each other, as Arden and Pearcia probably have done so many times. And I will thank God for my babies. I will then say a prayer for Arden, for Pearcia, for Arden’s father Jimmy, for Arden’s siblings, and for all who love her. To the Bogroff family: we at Her View from Home will keep you in our hearts as you navigate this next part of your journey. 

If you’d like to donate to help the Bogroff family pay off their medical expenses, you can do so here. The Bogroffs would like to express their sincere gratitude for all the support they’ve received.

 

About the author

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is a free-lance writer who blogs at The 21st Century SAHM http://www.the21stcenturysahm.com/ —a cathartic mix of sarcasm, angry Mama Bear rants, and confessions about how she’s probably screwing up her kids. She is also assistant editor at Sammiches and Psych Meds and has had work featured on Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, What the Flicka, and Bon Bon Break, among others. Karen is also a contributing writer in Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever (and then I had kids!) and in What Does It Mean to Be White in America? and she writes monthly for KC Parent magazine. Follow Karen on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/21stcenturysahm/, Twitter https://twitter.com/21stcenturysahm , and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/the21stcenturysahm/