By DAVID GREEN
Heart surgery at three days old. Celebrated his first birthday Dec. 11 by having his chest closed up following more surgery. Five trips to the operating room in the past few months.
Logan, the son of Matt and Kendra (Hibbard) Coy, was born with several heart defects, including the absence of a pulmonary valve and a hole between the bottom ventricles.
“His heart was twisted around about 180 degrees,” explained his grandfather, Ken Hibbard of Fayette.
Problems were discovered about three hours after he was born and a shunt was placed in his heart on the third day of his life.
That procedure was done to allow him to grow stronger before the next step: surgery to repair a “broken heart.”
Around the end of November Logan had started to become rather active, Ken said, and then he would turn blue. That’s the sign the doctors were waiting for.
The Coys took their son back to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor for surgery and he remains there today.
Kendra, a Fayette graduate, took on the duty of chief reporter for Logan’s CarePages website provided by the University of Michigan Health System. Throughout the region, dozens of friends and relatives are following Logan’s travails through Kendra’s and Matt’s updates.
Occasionally she would take a weekend at home to spend time with the Coys’ two-year-old son, Landon. In late February, she and Matt decided that one them had to go back to work, and Kendra was the one to go. She now sees Logan on weekends and sporadically during the week.
Tracking Logan’s up and down progress through the CarePages is a heart-wrenching experience.
• Dec. 1: Surgery lasted nine hours and was one of the most difficult the surgeon has ever taken on.
• Dec. 3: A bridge inserted to hold his sternum apart to keep pressure off the heart. The chest remains open due to concerns about blood pressure.
• Dec. 7: Bridge removed but chest remains open.
• Dec. 10: Additional surgery might be needed to replace a baffle. “That was like getting punched in the stomach,” Kendra wrote.
• Dec. 11: His first birthday, the day his chest was closed.
• Dec. 12: Problems with infections; concern about seizures.
• Dec. 13: Told his heart is failing. Chest reopened.
And so it goes, with steps forward and slides backward. Logan’s heart is now quite well known among the cardiologists at UM.
For Kendra and Matt, the current hospitalization has been a difficult four-month ordeal—four months and counting.
Kendra has been forced to act as a mother from a distance, sharing her son with the medical staff.
“I showed the nurse how to rub the inside of the ear,” she wrote in December. “That’s one of his favorite things that helps put him to sleep.”
“They’re gonna let me help give Logan a bath and then hold him,” she wrote a month later. “I’m so excited.”
Two days later: “It was a huge orchestrated event with the respiration therapist and three nurses but I did it! I held him for two hours straight. Both of my legs ‘fell asleep’ and were completely numb, but I did not care one bit.”
New challenges have arisen as efforts continue to wean Logan off his many medications and to try out new ones.
The last update filed Saturday announced that Logan was moved to the moderate care ward, a step down from pediatric ICU. That’s a positive sign, although it led to an entirely new crew of physicians and nurses.
“I think mom and dad are having more trouble than he is,” Kendra wrote.
A new heart rate medication seems to be working, but pacemaker wires still protrude from Logan’s chest in case the equipment is needed again.
There’s no way of knowing what lies ahead, but Kendra and Matt see their son as slowly heading in the right direction.
Two of Kendra’s best childhood friends, Kelly Wallace and Missy Kope, came up with the idea of organizing a fund-raiser to help the Coys with financial challenges. They’re both Toledo residents and are seeking donations in that area.
Kendra’s mother, Pam Hibbard, and Kendra’s sister, Kandi Lemley, are organizing an evening of food and fun to serve as a benefit in Fayette.
On April 24, the public is invited to Fayette High School for food, a 50/50 drawing, a silent auction, karaoke, a corn hole tournament and more.
Donations of food or items for the silent auction are welcomed. For more information, call Pam at 419/237-2622 or Kandi at 419/237-3269.