Logan Smith is blessed. The 22-year-old is blessed to be alive after a hydroplaning accident in 2016 rolled his truck down a 35-foot incline, resulting in complete damage to his C6 and C7 cervical vertebrae.
He is blessed because he has a strong family and community who continually encourage him. But mostly he is blessed by his remarkable faith and courage in the face of overwhelming circumstances.
“We live by the Bible verse found in Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’“ remarks Logan who believes he will walk again. “Sometimes miracles come in small doses. Keep holding onto your faith and you’ll get blessed.”
Although the medical prognosis of quadriplegia was dismal, Logan’s mother, Robin Dian Smith, his father Bobby Smith and brother Corey Smith were determined to help Logan achieve everything he had planned for his life. It has been a slow and continual process, but Logan has made monumental strides, exceeding the expectations of the medical profession.
“It has been challenging, just trying to figure out how to do the things I want to do … just doing them differently,” explains Logan.
His list of accomplishments is amazing and showcases his dedication to reaching beyond the boundries that others might have set for him. Most people are hard pressed to do a few sit ups, but Logan can do 100 in a row; something the doctors said would never happen. Logan’s list includes driving his own car – a Dodge Challenger, fishing, camping, kayaking, sky diving, snow skiing, getting his night diving SCUBA certification, participating in wheelchair rugby with the Carolina Crash team, hand-cycling and much more.
Many of these activities require extensive travel for therapy or to participate in sports since there is nothing in the immediate area for quadriplegics. So Robin, who is Logan’s caregiver, travels with him to Charlotte, NC once a week for practice or to the Gray Quarry in Tennessee for SCUBA or Richmond for therapy or when he does peer support for three teenagers at Shepherd Center Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Rehabilitation in Atlanta.
Now, four years after the accident, Logan has one year to complete before graduating from Virginia Tech with a double major in Business Management and Real Estate. He plans to use his degree to eventually start his own business, focusing on designing housing to accommodate the needs of the handicapped and elderly.
Logan also plans to start a non-profit so he can donate funds to families needing help buying adaptive equipment for their child. “There are 18-year-olds put in nursing homes because their families can’t afford equipment to help them. They still have a life to live rather than just watching TV and dwindling away,” discloses Logan.
“Adaptive equipment is very expensive,” states Robin. “For example, an adaptive fork for Logan cost us $90 and a hand cycle costs $10,000. We have been fortunate to locate used equipment for him because new equipment is so expensive. When we buy a ‘new’ piece of equipment for Logan, we give the equipment he has used to someone else. We’re paying it forward that way.”
Because insurance doesn’t cover the cost of any sports related quadriplegic equipment, the only way Logan’s family can afford to purchase it is by fundraising. Currently, they are fundraising for a rugby chair and need an additional $6,000 to complete the purchase.
“COVID-19 has impacted us in that local businesses are struggling, and it is difficult for them to donate funds as in the past. That’s why we are again sponsoring the 4th Annual Walk with Logan/Celebration of Life Car Show on Saturday, October 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dublin Church of God. Although this is a fundraiser, there will be door prizes, no entry charge, a car show featuring The Cruisin’ Southwest VA Car Club and food by Christian Grilling BBQ. We want everyone to come by and enjoy the fun, food and fellowship even if they are unable to donate,” encourages Robin.
Logan’s next big event is the Fall Cycle to the Sea, starting in Charlotte and ending the 190-mile three-day journey at Myrtle Beach. By participating in these types of events, Logan has an opportunity to share his story and encourage others who are going through similar circumstances. He also helps fundraise for other athletes with disabilities.
“I don’t know how people make it without a reliance on God. Little blessings pop up everywhere. Some people think this is a dark world, but I see a world where people are helping my son. He’s receives thousands of prayers and encouraging letters on Facebook at PrayersForLogan,” Robin gratefully relates.
You can contact Logan by going to his facebook page or mailing him at: Logan Smith, 5621 Tanglewood Drive, Dublin, VA 24084.
By DANIELLE REID, The Patriot