Savanah Hogan enjoys a floral arrangement at Field and Forage Flower Farm.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Savanah Hogan enjoys a floral arrangement at Field and Forage Flower Farm. (Photo Credit: Erin Elise ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Gold Star spouses gather April 21 for “A Night of Honor” at Field and Forage Flower Farm.
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Savanah Hogan had dated her husband, Bradley, since she was 16. They were married in 2015, then four years later, the unthinkable happened.

In 2019, the family all had caught a stomach bug, but after the virus had cleared the rest of the family’s system, Bradley, who was a specialist in the Army at the time serving at Fort Stewart, Georgia, kept complaining about his stomach.

“About three months went past and he just kept getting worse,” Hogan said. “So he went to the doctor and the doctor was like you have acid reflux. Here’s some medicine, just go home, you’re fine.”

It wasn’t fine though, things got worse and Bradley went back to the doctor. At that time, the doctor said he thought the specialist was suffering from gallstones and scheduled an ultrasound for two weeks out.

“That night he came to me and he was like I can’t wait two weeks, there’s something really bad wrong,” she said.

The couple went to the emergency room that night. The staff in the ER took some blood, ran tests, and even though the bloodwork came back fine, they did find fluid in his abdomen.

This led to a CT scan, which showed cancer had metastasized “all over his stomach,” according to Hogan.

“They couldn’t tell us anything there,” Hogan said. “All they could say was that he had cancer that had spread somewhere.”

After more tests, Bradley went to get a biopsy of his lymph nodes.

“And the doctor walked in and was like, I can’t touch you. You need to be admitted,” Hogan said. “He was so weak. He could barely walk. He’d lost 10 pounds in a week.”

Bradley was admitted to the hospital that evening. The next day doctors still couldn’t find where the cancer originated, so they didn’t know where to start treatment.

“They did notice, though, that his esophagus was thickened,” Hogan said. “So the oncologist said, ‘OK, well, I’m going to stick a scope down your throat.’ And that’s when she found that he had stage four esophageal cancer.”

They started treatment as fast as they could, but the day after he the first chemo treatment, Bradley was put on life support, and died a day later.

“It was all within a week-and-a-half tops, maybe a week,” Hogan said. “It was very, very quick.”

After Bradley’s death, Hogan said she didn’t have time to feel lost, because she was flooded by an outpouring of support from her friends at Fort Stewart.

“I’m talking about friends that I had only talked to maybe once,” she said. “But everybody just came over and they made sure that I was pretty much never alone.”

She said that support helped her and when she returned to the Huntsville area to be closer to family, she was introduced to Survivor Outreach Services at Redstone.

The Survivor Outreach Services supports families who have lost loved ones who were serving in the military in several ways.

Hogan said it took her a little while to start attending some of the events hosted by SOS, but she did talk to the SOS coordinators often.

Recently she’s been more active in participating in the activities the SOS has like “A Night of Honor,” which took place April 21 to celebrate Gold Star Spouse Day at Field and Forage Flower Farm. The event featured food, learning how to create flower arrangements and fellowship.

Hogan said participating in these events allows her to feel connected to others and it has helped provide her with a sense of normalcy since losing her husband.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said.

Redstone’s SOS program is headed by Sherry Major, Army Community Service specialist. Her number is 876-5397 and the SOS program is located at building 3443, the Pershing Welcome Center, on Aerobee Road.