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Logan Hamner; All he wants to do is dance
Editor's Note: In honor of Februray being National Organ Donor Month, we wanted to bring you a story of a brave young man who was recently gifted a new set of lungs.
RUMFORD- While most of his friends are out finding the perfect hill to sled down, spending a day skiing at Black Mountain or perfecting their skills on the basketball court or wrestling mat, for Logan Hamner, life is all about physical therapy, traveling to Boston once a week and trying to steer clear of anyone with an illness.
On January 3 Logan received a new set of lungs to replace the ones he was born with. Due to deterioration from leukemia treatments when he was younger, Logan was placed on the transplant list in November of 2011.
Since then, Logan has been in a wheelchair, hooked up to oxygen around the clock and had to rely on the assistance of his good friend Ben Tag to wheel him around school. Logan couldn’t do much more than watch and cheer his friends on with a smile.
“It was hard to be in a chair,” stated Logan. “But I had my main pusher, Ben, to help me. And all the other kids were very helpful, too.”
Logan has been home since January 30, after spending nearly a month in Boston Children’s Hospital regaining his strength and allowing the donor lungs to adjust to their new host.
“I spent some time in quarantine while I was in the hospital,” stated Logan. “They thought I had a virus in my lungs and needed to be sure I didn’t come in contact with anyone.”
Logan noted that he spent most of his time playing Monopoly and Life with his mom, played with his Kindle that his aunt Erica had gifted him and watched movies.
“My mom loves My Name is Earl,” laughed Logan. “And she would fall asleep watching it. I couldn’t move, so I would have to sit there and listen to it until it shut off. It got old quick.”
Logan has a great sense of humor, which he refers to as his “star quality” and stated that his running joke with his teachers was that “I was a woodshop project gone wrong.” On the other hand, he was dealing with a serious matter and shared, “My friends all thought I was tough, but I really was afraid.”
Having a wonderful sense of where he is in this world. When asked how he dealt with the idea of having a lung transplant, Logan stated, “It was hard. I don’t think my life is any more valuable than theirs. It’s hard to comprehend that their child died for me to live. I told my mom that if it didn’t work I would be waiting in Heaven with dad and if things did work out, then I would still be here with her.”
Logan’s mom, Shannon Scott, stated, “It was tough for him. It was tough for all of us. But, we were on the opposite side of things a few years ago when my husband, Logan’s dad, passed away. Patrick was a donor. We know what it feels like on both sides.”
Logan has two sisters and a brother with another sister on the way. Shannon stated that they have always been very open with the kids and all of them knew what Logan was facing.
“He’s a brave young man. He may look tiny and have a small voice, but he is very, very brave.”
Over the next seven months Logan will have to remain home and allow his lungs to be accepted by his body and build his immune system back up slowly so that his body won’t reject the new lungs. He has had a couple friends over, but they have to be free of illness and as Logan stated, “They have to be clean and Purelled.”
Logan would like to have more interaction with the outside world, but he just cannot chance the possibility of infection in his healing body. He stated that he would love to be thought of with cards or phone calls.
When asked what he looks forward to most, Logan smiled and said he can’t wait to practice his gangnam style dancing and to be able to walk through the doors of his school next year. “All I want to do is dance. Trust me, it’s a really hard dance, but I’m going to learn how to do it. And, I can tell you right now, when I walk through those doors everyone is just going to gasp.”
Logan wanted to reach out to other children who may be experiencing a similar situation as he is and stated, “It’s a hard battle, but you can do it. Anything is possible.”
As for the donor family, Logan and his mom know that the family lives in Massachusetts and can only send them anonymous letters for the next year. Then, they will have the opportunity to meet them if they are open to it.
“We understand they need time to grieve, “stated Shannon. “It’s a very difficult thing to do. The only thing we know is that it was a small child and they did try to resuscitate. We are so absolutely grateful for the gift they gave us.”
With the family having to travel to Boston weekly for Logan’s checkups, the expense of gas is climbing. If your heart is being led to help Logan and his family, they would be appreciative of gas cards. You can mail correspondence to encourage Logan, or donations to Logan Hamner, ℅ Shannon Scott, 227 Knox Street, Rumford, Maine 04276.