Logan’s mother, Misty, still has to fight back tears when recalling the events of Jan. 23, 2010.
The mother-son duo was taking part in a scavenger hunt for Relay for Life. Misty drove to the clues and Logan, an eighth grader at the time, ran out and got them.
“After the third stop, I had really bad cramps in my legs,” Logan said. “Within 30 seconds, I was completely paralyzed from the waist down. I was scared to death.”
Misty pulled the car over to take care of her son, who was yelling from the fear. When he tried to get out of the car, he collapsed to the ground, unable to move his legs. She immediately called 911 and her son was taken to Gordon Hospital in Calhoun.
A few hours later, Logan was transported to the Intensive Care Unit at Scottish Rite hospital.
He was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that includes inflammation of the spinal cord and results in paralysis.
“We were very confused,” Misty said. “There were a lot of whys. Why is this happening? The doctors, physicians and nurses at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta were awesome and encouraging. They said we could get through this.”
Logan’s doctors told him that he may or may not be able to walk again. He received a plasma transfer after arriving at Scottish Rite and started getting feeling back in his toes shortly after.
Both he and his parents knew that it was a long road ahead and that his baseball career, which started when he was 4 years old, may have ended.
“In the beginning, I was pretty depressed about it,” Logan said. “Those first few nights in the hospital, me and my mom just sat there and cried a lot. But I’ve been building up my confidence and determination. I feel pretty determined now.”
After his stay in the ICU, Logan was transferred to the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU), where he did exercises to build up his leg muscles and endurance.
Logan stayed at Scottish Rite for about three months after he was diagnosed. His parents, Misty and Barry, stayed at the nearby Ronald McDonald House during his inpatient treatment. He then transitioned to the Day Rehabilitation Program until May of 2010.
Through each step of his treatment, Logan stayed active and determined. That attitude allowed him to make significant progress in a relatively short amount of time.
“He is a very quiet, shy child, but when he wants something, he goes after it,” Misty said. “He is very determined. It doesn’t surprise me.”
When Logan returned to school, starting his freshman year at Gordon Central High School, he was still in a wheelchair. The school’s track and field coach, John Rainwater, approached Logan about participating in wheelchair events.
Logan did not even know that there were wheelchair events in track and field. Once he gave it a shot, he knew that it was the right outlet for his competitive drive.
“The wheelchair track and field has given him his confidence back,” Misty said. “It couldn’t come at a better time. He was really down. I’ve seen a new light in his eyes.”
Logan competes in the shot put, the 200-meter race and the 800-meter race. In his freshman season, he helped win a team state championship in the wheelchair division.
Logan, who also plays trumpet in the school band, was named the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Comeback Athlete of the Month for December.
Because he was still growing, Logan had to have a spinal fusion in February and had to miss his sophomore season on the track and field team. But that surgery barely slowed down his recovery.
Logan can now stand and even walk a little with the help of a walker.
As he approaches his junior season, he is bringing with him the same determination that helped him make so much progress since the day he suddenly lost feeling in his legs.
“I just keep telling myself that I will walk again,” he said.