Logan loves dollhouses, fairies, and spending time with her mom and dad. She has a smile that can light up any room. But a year ago, she had little to smile about. Last spring, Logan developed a fever that wouldn’t break.The pediatrician thought it was an ear infection, but a course of antibiotics didn’t help. Two weeks later, Logan still didn’t want to get out of bed. When her mom, Brianna, tried to help her stand, Logan fell to the floor.
At the emergency room, she seemed to lose all function. Her arms were the first to go limp, then her legs and the rest of her body. “From her neck down, she was a noodle,” recall her parents, Reggie and Brianna, who will never forget seeing their daughter so helpless, with tubes connected to her tiny body. Tests revealed she had transverse myelitis, a rare neurological disorder that can cause permanent paralysis. Logan needed intense inpatient rehabilitation and medical care, and her family found it at Kennedy Krieger’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury. At first Logan was scared and didn’t understand why she needed to stay in the hospital and undergo therapy. The therapists reassured and encouraged her, explaining that the harder she worked, the stronger she would become. They made therapy fun by demonstrating first on her stuffed animal, and showing her pictures and videos for motivation.
Like all patients at Kennedy Krieger, Logan had a team of specialists working together to help her and her family. Logan’s team included an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a physician, and a behavior therapist to help her cope. “The therapists at Kennedy Krieger are amazing,” says Brianna. “This was the most difficult nightmare any parent could imagine, and they made it OK. They give every parent hope.”
Logan underwent daily activity-based restorative therapy—exercises and activities such as functional electrical stimulation that focus on prompting cells to “remember” how to move while encouraging the growth of new nervous system cells. Slowly, Logan began to regain function and movement. She had to relearn everything, from how to move her arms and bend her legs to how to pull herself up to stand. Once she was stabilized, she went home but continued with outpatient therapy. On September 28, 2014, Logan began walking independently again. It’s a date that her mother says will be engraved in her brain forever. Soon after, Logan began running and hasn’t stopped since. Her ankles are weaker than they once were, but Logan has made a near complete recovery.
“We are so grateful,” says Brianna. “People come from all over the world for the medical care Logan received at Kennedy Krieger.”