The heart of a little lion

Every now and then you meet someone that touches your life like you’d never expect. 18 months ago, this little guy was born. Meet Logan. Ain’t he just adorable?

The beautiful Logan

The beautiful Logan

Since his birth, he has been in and out of hospital way too many times for someone so young. He was born with heart abnormalities called ventricular septal defect (VSD), aortic stenosis and coarctation of the aortic arch. Even after his mum has explained it all and has drawn numerous diagrams of hearts and such, I’m still not 100% sure on everything that’s gone on. His parents deserve PhDs for learning so many medical terms…

The heart defects were picked up during the pregnancy ultra sounds, so Mum and Dad were able to somewhat prepare. What they didn’t know, was that Logan would also be born with respiratory complications. He was whisked away immediately after birth to be assisted. Both parents were able to have a very brief hold before he was taken again, to intensive care, and put on a breathing apparatus.  At 3 days old he underwent his first open heart surgery. Considering how tiny a baby’s heart is, this is just amazing. Due to the breathing problems and surgery, his mum and dad had to wait 10 days for their first real cuddles. It must have been incredibly hard to see him with tubes, wires and tape and not being able to hold him. All that new parents want is to hold their newborn.

It took him 5 weeks to get well enough to go home for the first time. What a magical time. They finally got to be a family under the one roof. There were daily nurse visits and injections that no one, especially a baby, should have to go through. But I’m sure it was better than being in hospital.

Cheeky monkey

Cheeky monkey

At 3 months old, he was diagnosed with bronchiolitis and a respiratory infection and readmitted to hospital. Doctors then found a bacteria in his blood, which had caused 2 infections in his heart. Another open heart surgery was scheduled for the next month. After that surgery, his heart responded well, but he had continued breathing issues. After spending some time in the Children’s Hospital, he finally got to go home, but still had antibiotics being administer via a direct line to his heart. It made bathing and dressing difficult, but as long as the nasties were kept away, it was a welcomed accessory.

At a regular checkup a little while later, a new heart complication was noticed. Surgery could not be performed until 3 months after the last one, but he was given an ok to travel. On the way home from his holiday with his “aunties” he became sick again. This time with a urinary tract infection. He was admitted to hospital for another 12 days.

Lil Logan

Lil Logan holding on to mum and dad

The time of the next surgery had come, a stent was placed, and he recovered amazingly well. By this time he had spent more than half his life in hospitals.

One side of Logans vocal cords were paralyzed during the first surgery, which is now a permanent thing. It means he is very quiet, though as he gets older, he is finding other ways to get his point across. He is a little guy, due to being hospitalised and operations, but he has a huge appetite so I’m sure he won’t be small for long.

Due to the heart issues, there was mention of development delays. I’ve watched this boy…he is such a determined, spunky, incredibly happy and beautiful boy and any developmental delays are non existent (that I can see anyway.). But then again, what is “normal?” He’s off and running, keeping mum and dad on their toes. Before they know it, he will be talking back and probably won’t shut up. I reckon he’s going to have lots to say.

He is going to have ongoing monitoring and there will be future surgeries, but for now, everything seems to be going fantastic. His scars are there for life, which I know will need explaining as he gets older. I’m sure he will probably hate them as much as I hate mine. I told him last year, when I went to visit and help out, that we can be in a special club of our own. Our scars are what makes us special and proof that we can get through anything. If we didn’t have them, we most likely wouldn’t be here. He couldn’t talk then and was having a feed at the time, plus it was 3am, but I know he heard me.

His parents have been supported through everything by HeartKids . I know they have met some fantastic people who have given them hope, courage and shared stories, both good and bad. Having a group like HeartKids must be a wonderful thing, as it’s not something your everyday friends can completely understand. I have no idea what they have been through or are going to go through over the next few years.

Living so far away from his family makes it hard to give physical support. The only thing I can do is call often and offer mental hugs. I just hope they know that I love them and I am there in spirit every time Logan has to visit the hospital. I sometimes feel useless. I hope that it’s only quick visits and not long stays at the hospital for many, many more years to come. I hate that I don’t get to see him more often. I love getting updates from his mum, but it’s not the same.

His parents are rocks in my life and he chose the right family to belong too. I’ve never known anyone like them, they are all amazingly strong. I don’t know how they keep it together, but as I’ve been told, you just do. And they do with a smile on their face and love in their hearts.

Before he was even born and on every bump in the road, I’ve cried often not knowing what the future holds for this family. I see them now, his mum and dad love him so much, that I know in my heart, that his heart will be fine and I can’t wait to see him grow up to be a fine young man. I wouldn’t want to be the girl that breaks his heart for the first time. Pretty sure she’ll have a few people to answer too…

Watch out!

Thank you to Logan’s mum and dad for allowing me to write about their son. It means a lot to me for your permission. I hope I’ve done ok.

Contact HeartKids for more information or to donate:

www.heartkids.org.au

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