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Maya Smith



A month ago we were planning on a great summer ... and then Maya was brought into hospital in rough shape. Originally I assumed it was asthma and a few treatments and we would be on our way. I was so very wrong. We watched in disbelief as a ventalin mask turned into a ventilator breathing support, and then an oscillator machine.

We sat by Maya's bed as she was in a complete coma state and tried to reason what was happening as doctors told us our baby was very, very sick. Then they told us her chances of survival were very slim if she did not go on an ECMO machine which would pump all the blood out of her body, put oxygen into it and pump it back in. There were huge risks but it would give her lungs a chance to breathe.

They described it as the most extreme form of life support available. It was terrifying. They quoted us fifty fifty chances of survival. It was the singular most painful thing I've ever gone through as a mother. At one point I questioned if I needed to start considering possible funeral arrangements. I had no choice but to take time off work ... mentally and also because we ended up being in the children's hospital in Edmonton for part of this journey.

I am the only income right now. I sponsored my husband over some years after we were married and living in his country. I was born and raised in Canada, my husband was not. So that limits where we can look for support in times like this. We have been struggling the past two years to try and get on our feet and pursue schooling, work, and raise kids.

We spent such a long time in the NICU when Maya was born as she is a former 25 week premature baby. Then it was constant appointments and ups and downs. We are mentally and physically exhausted. I've been raising two kids and working full time 12 hour shifts while my husband has been in school and I am at the point where I literally do not know what to do to get through this. We are living pay check to pay check and while I may decent money, that is supporting a family of four, and paying all our loans and bills. It doesn't stretch very far then, and now that I am off work for a while we currently have zero income coming in.

Last year we had a couple good months financially before my husband went back to school and that tipped us over a mark causing them to cut my Alberta health benefits and child tax HUGELY. I now have no Alberta health benefits and a child who now very much needs them, and I make half the child tax. I am currently racking up credit card debt and struggling to figure out how to pay bills and keep up. The last bit of money in my account is all I have to my name.

I am hugely embarrassed to have to apply for help .. l've always been mostly able to do this all on my own and give my kids a decent quality of life. But this time ... I am unsure what to do. We discovered mould in our little house and have to move ... I've had to find a new place while my child is in hospital. Every tiny bit of savings I had went into paying the damage deposit. That was unexpected and took away any safety net I might have had to scrape through this. I know if I don't ask for help ... any help of any kind that is available ... then my family is affected. I have never felt so helpless and overwhelmed and stressed and embarrassed.


- Ashley & Ainsley Smith

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Sarah Faith Hogan

november 8, 2004 - january 22, 2006

The Sarah Faith Hogan Memorial Foundation was formed in loving memory of Sarah Faith Hogan and is dedicated to the selflessness and courage of Sarah’s grandfather and mother, Chuck and Cathy Hogan.


The Hogan’s immediate and extended family are a true inspiration and a testament to the power of love and the family bond.

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