When Logan was born 17 years ago, doctors from CHOC diagnosed him with complex congenital heart defect — double outlet right ventricle — that would require open-heart surgery at just a two-days old, and subsequent surgeries throughout his childhood.
Though the series of surgeries have allowed for a normal childhood, Logan and his family have had to remain vigilant to any kind of infections that could affect Logan’s health.
“Any respiratory issue could be devastating to Logan,” says Marsha, Logan’s mom. “But when the news of COVID-19 surfaced, we knew it could have a severe impact.”
The threat of COVID-19
Those with heart conditions like Logan’s can have a compromised heart and poor blood circulation, which puts this group at higher risk of complications if COVID-19 was contracted. Many patients can also have weakened blood vessels in their lungs from high blood pressure, making all respiratory diseases very risky. There is an increased risk of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation support or worse.
During the height of the pandemic, Logan, his parents, siblings and even their pets, tackled COVID-19 safety protocols together. They limited their exposure to friends and family, asked visitors to keep their distance and all the kids continued distance-learning throughout the year. The whole family took the precautions in stride and were willing to make these small sacrifices for their son and brother.
“It was difficult to hear things like, ‘COVID-19 only affects people with underlying health issues,’” Marsha explained. “Logan is an incredible kid who is living a healthy lifestyle, but if COVID-19 was introduced into his system, it could quickly impact his health.”
She went on to say, “Logan never complained; none of us ever did. It was a complicated year, but we are lucky there are six of us to keep each other entertained.”
They were counting down the days until the vaccine would be available.
A small price to pay
When the day came that children over the age of 16 with high-risk medical conditions were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Logan’s family was buzzing with excitement.
“We were on two computers all night trying to get an appointment,” says Marsha. “When we did, it was truly like getting the golden ticket.”
Once the vaccine eligibility was opened further, Logan’s siblings, parents and even his friends were ready.
“I guess when you live with a sibling and friend who has almost lost his life more than once, had his chest opened three times and have watched him go through years of tests and medicines and more, a vaccine is a small price to pay to assure his continued health,” says Marsha.
A taste of normalcy
Over the summer, Logan was able to attend a two-week film and production program and participate in a camp for kids with heart disease. He was also excited to start his senior year in person. Above all, this teen has been able to do what he’s been looking forward to the most: playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends.
Logan has felt the weight lifted, and it’s all thanks to the vaccine and the people around him who were willing to receive it.
To anyone feeling hesitant about getting the vaccine, Logan advises, “Just get it. It’s simple and quick. It will make kids like me feel a lot safer outside because it will lower the chance of us contracting a life-threatening virus, so please get the vaccine.”
“You never know who you are sitting or walking next to. It could be a person who is loved very much,” says Marsha. “We all have the power to take care of others right now more than ever. With just a simple vaccine, we can assure we are caring for those around us. It’s the ultimate act of caring and love.”
Logan just received his COVID-19 vaccine booster.
CHOC has opened a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on our Orange campus for kids 12 years of age and older. Ask your provider for details, or call our Vaccine Call Center (Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) at 714-509-4668.
Everything parents need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine for children and teens from the pediatric experts at CHOC