15-year-old Logan has battled illness and pain his whole life, but that hasn’t stopped him from pushing hard to accomplish his goals. As an accomplished speed chess player and aspiring entrepreneur, Logan has set his sights high – and Satan’s Little Helper is right behind him!
Logan has had a tough life so far. The first 10 years of it were dominated by kidney problems, and the next couple were plagued by jaw issues.
“As a baby, Logan had lots of stomach pain and it took doctors about 20 ultrasound scans to find out he had four kidneys!” explains his mum Angela. “That caused a lot of kidney infections and general illness, but thankfully he seems to have outgrown all that.”
“Sadly, just when we thought we were in the clear, a dentist discovered that his jaw was growing up towards his skull.”
All of this means that Logan has spent most of his life in pain, discomfort and under the supervision of medical professionals. When he opens his mouth, he can’t create a gap wider than 1cm between the top and bottom rows of teeth. Major surgery to fix the issue is currently being scheduled.
“It’s a life-threatening condition,” says Angela. “Logan is at a high risk of choking and, if he does, there’s no way someone could access his throat with their finger to try and physically remove the blockage. The Heimlich manoeuvre isn’t an option either, as the blockage would hit his teeth and rebound back into his throat.”
This leaves Angela frequently worried – although, from time to time, she is able to see the funny side of it.
“When I serve dinner, he often finishes his plate first!” she laughs. “I have no idea how. I guess that’s just how teenage boys roll. As much as I say, ‘slow down, don’t you dare choke!’, the food somehow just gets shovelled in.”
The condition has left dentists puzzled and taken its toll on Logan. Surgery will involve a month off school while he recovers, which is a month he is “freaking out about”.
“It’s not just the recovery and the time off school,” says Angela. “It’s also what comes next. The operation will change his whole face and he’ll need years of physio to recover from it.”
Logan is studying hard and wants to get into IT when he’s older. He’s also a competitive chess player, has practiced karate for 10 years, and wants to get into kickboxing.
Satan’s Little Helper loves it when kids have big ideas and so, to support his dreams, we sent Logan a book voucher, to spend on some extra study guides, and a gaming mouse for his online chess competitions.
“He wants his own business one day, so he got himself an accounting book to study now, because he may miss the end-of-year exams due to his first jaw operation. He took it to school with him and his teacher was so impressed, which made Logan super proud of himself. His teacher is amazing and has given him so much confidence.
“Logan’s in year 11, NCEA level 1 but he got level 2 books as he wants to aim high!”
The mouse has also been incredibly useful.
“Because he plays speed chess, it’s important to have a good, reliable mouse. He’s currently inside the top 1% of players on Chess.com, and his goal is to keep moving up the rankings!”