Place a burden on her child, and any mother would mourn. But, place that child in the grip of a mortal illness, and a mother’s mourning quickly melts into a furious fight for life.
Single mom and Dallas police officer, Heather McGovern, is a mother at war. Her 1-1/2 year old daughter, Alexah, suffers from a potentially fatal heart defect and incurable pulmonary hypertension. To Alexah’s siblings, McKenna, 3-1/2, and Jacob, 5-1/2, the oxygen tank perpetually linked to their little sister is a fact of life.
“Alexah’s condition requires incredibly expensive medical care,” said Officer McGovern. “Her two weeks in ICU a few months back cost more than $350,000 in room and board alone. That’s without a doctor ever entering the room.”
Officer McGovern’s deductible for the year was met in February. Specialists on the case are now recommending a procedure to close a valve in Alexah’s heart to potentially reduce the pressures.
“The ATO is helping in a huge way,” she said. “I used to think the ATO was only for officers affected by loss in the line of duty, but Jamie McDonald (a senior corporal with the Dallas Police Department and close friend) submitted my name for assistance last September, and the ATO has picked up the out-of-pocket medical expenses and created a nest-egg for future procedures and associated travel.”
Prior to the ATO’s assistance, Officer McGovern worked a second job after a full shift on patrol to pay out-of-pocket expenses. She sacrificed time with Alexah to raise the money, while her sister, Stephanie, looked after the children during the day.
“I am grateful to the ATO for allowing me to spend my off hours with my family and not stress over the expenses,” Officer McGovern said. “The ATO has been a huge blessing to our family.”
To connect with Officer McGovern and support her in caring for Alexah, visit Alexah’s Angels on Facebook.
Donations can be made in Alexah McGovern's name through the Assist the Officer Foundation by clicking here, or by calling 214-747-6839.