According to her obituary, Hogan was swimming with her 15-month-old son, Zander, on Aug. 27 when she lost her footing, fell and hit her head.
Hogan’s husband of almost 20 years, Matt LaRussa, arrived soon after her fall to find his son safely outside the pool in his life vest, but his wife unconscious and submerged in the water — according to their friend Kathleen “Katie” Mayer.
LaRussa performed CPR until paramedics arrived and rushed Hogan to an area hospital. She remained in critical condition for multiple days.
“Her brain suffered too much damage and we lost this wonderful woman,” Mayer wrote on the GoFundMe page she started in support of the family. “This fund raiser will raise money to pay for the family’s extensive medical bills, memorial costs and to support Zander as he grows up without a mother.”
As of Monday, the campaign has raised over $24,000.
In a Facebook post Friday, LaRussa remembered Hogan as an “amazing wife” and “best friend to me and thousands.” Her heart, kidneys and liver were already donated to four people he hopes to meet one day: “I wanted as much of her in this world as possible.”
The couple’s friend Mayer told People, “At a time where human kindness is so desperately needed, we’ve lost one of the people who gave that to our world, but Shanna’s writing will live on, the lives she saved will live on and her greatest creation — her little boy — will live on to inspire all of us.”
After beginning her journey as a reporter at Arizona’s East Valley Tribune, the award-winning desert journalist went on to write a series of popular books including “Dancing with Death: The True Story of a Glamorous Showgirl, Her Wealthy Husband, and a Horrifying Murder,” “Secrets of a Marine’s Wife: A True Story of Marriage, Obsession, and Murder” and “Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story.”
In addition, Hogan was also a “beloved” adjunct professor at her alma mater, Arizona State University, in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.
“From riding a mechanical bull in Mexico to interviewing a serial killer in jail to dressing up as ‘NYPD Blue’ police detective Andrew Sipowicz during mock press conferences for her students, she was all in,” her obit reads. “She was a warrior when it came to protecting her family and friends.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.