Mason City, Iowa

Like any 6-year-old, Logan Brown enjoys listening to music and playing games on his iPad. He loves being around others and shares a special bond with his protective older sisters, Jadyn, Hannah, and Eleora.  

Since the moment he was born in March 2009, he’s also been a fighter.  

“When Logan was born, they knew there were some issues,” says his mother, Tara. “We had a whole team of pediatric hospitalists come in, and they didn’t know what was wrong.”  

At just 20 hours old, Logan’s doctors noticed a blood clot near a large vein that carries blood to his heart. He was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, where pediatric specialists were able to determine a number of other challenges Logan would also face.  

Tests showed Logan had microcephaly, an abnormality that causes a small head and can impact brain development. He also had several birth defects affecting his eyes, hands, and face.  

For Tara and her husband, Andrew, the news was a lot to take in.  

“You take an experienced mom of three other kids, and you come down to this world, and it’s crazy,” says Tara. “You don’t know what to expect.”  

Logan spent a month in the NICU before going home. A week later, he experienced his first apneic spell where he temporarily stopped breathing. After several more spells both at home and under observation in the hospital, Logan’s UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital doctors decided the only course of treatment was a tracheostomy—an incision in the windpipe that allows a breathing tube to open the airway.  

When Logan was 5 months old, his parents noticed he was experiencing what seemed like muscle twitches, so they took him to see UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital pediatric neurologist Katherine Mathews, MD.  

“I explained what the motion was, and she knew without even seeing one that it was an infantile spasm,” remembers Tara.  

If not controlled, infantile spasms can cause significant brain damage. After a number of medications failed to reduce Logan’s seizures, Dr. Mathews and the Browns decided to try a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, and proven to be effective for some patients experiencing seizures. It was exactly what Logan needed—since introducing the diet, Logan hasn’t had a grand mal seizure since November 2012.  

The Browns are grateful for the care their son has received from different UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital specialists over the years.  

“Having such a great team approach is amazing,” says Tara. “If the eye doctor has to check his eyes and then ENT has to check his airway, they’ve worked together to make things happen as a team so we can reduce his number of visits under anesthesia or just number of visits in total.”  

Logan’s perseverance is just one of the qualities that make him an inspiration to his family and friends.  

“We were told most kids with his condition don’t live past 2,” says Tara. “He has come a long way and defied many of the odds given to him at birth.”

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