Logan’s mom tells her tale

Born by C-section at 27 weeks, weighing 760g

LIVING AND LOVING: Hayley Bartle holds her son Logan during a visit to the beach when he was two. Picture: SUPPLIED

It’s important for us all to remember that Logan Bartle is not only a little boy who has cerebral palsy – he is also a son, grandson, nephew and cousin.

Though the focus of the Fit for Logan challenge is on raising funds for Logan’s needs and to create awareness about cerebral palsy, we need to remember that behind Logan is his mom, Hayley Bartle.

Hayley has been faced with circumstances beyond her control, yet she embraces them and continues to want and work for the best for her son.

When asked how she coped, her response was a heartfelt one,

“I’m not sure if there is anything that helps you cope – it is just something that has to be done,” said Hayley.

“Of course Logan and his big smile makes it so much easier because when I look at his little face I would do anything in this world for him and you somehow just find the strength to cope.”

Having met Hayley and Logan, I understand what she means about his smile as it is so innocent and lights up his eyes in such a way that it melts one’s heart.

One of the many positive attributes I admire about Hayley is her resilience which is a characteristic shared by Logan who, from his birth, showed this to be an innate part of his personality.

When ­­­27 weeks pregnant, the doctor discovered that Hayley was suffering from preeclampsia and had a low blood platelet count.

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication which is characterised by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system such as the liver and kidneys. It can affect women whose blood pressure had previously been normal. If it does occur, it will normally manifest after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Due to the risk to her life and that of her unborn baby, Hayley was admitted to hospital immediately and Logan was born by caesarean section the following day.

“The emergency C-section was quite a traumatic experience,’ says Hayley.

“The risks to my life and his were increasing because of the low blood platelets and they were concerned about excessive bleeding during delivery combined with the blood pressure problem.”

This is when both Hayley’s and Logan’s resilience were made clearly evident.

At birth Logan was given a 5% chance of survival and weighed a mere 760gr.

“When I first got to see him I thought there was no way this little guy would make it. He was beyond small. It was truly heart-breaking.”

Then when he was 3 days old, his lung collapsed and he had to be resuscitated for an extended period.

“The next day I saw him and his little body was black from the resus. But he continued to fight and I knew he was strong.”

It was a turbulent time for Hayley who describes her emotions as a mix of being scared, disappointed and yet still hopeful.

“Trauma counselling was recommended and the staff were absolutely amazing in taking care of him. I could not touch nor hold him for about 2 months. He was covered in pipes and tubes. It was terrible leaving the hospital without him. However, I knew he was in the best hands when I could not be at his side.”

Logan would be diagnosed with cerebral palsy before his first birthday.

It is nearly 3 years since Logan’s birth, and over that time the financial implications of his condition have added to what is a continuous battle for Hayley. Yet thanks to her family, friends and the East London community, it has not always been a battle fought on her own.

Besides receiving emotional support from her mom, Rose, her dad Trevor spends time building various items to assist Logan who has a special bond with his cousin Caydn Bartle whom he adores.

“My family has been my pillar of strength since day one. Logan is such a blessing and I think it has made our family closer and stronger. He has not only changed our lives but so many others lives as well.”

Hayley has a couple of close friends who have travelled the road with her and have been of immense support.

One of these is Tubs Lingham (owner of Pot O Curry) who responded to a Facebook post and as a result Logan’s Smile ZA was launched which would later branch out to include the Fit for Logan challenge.

The campaign and the challenge have seen phenomenal growth through the GO! & Express and also with the radio broadcasts on Link FM’s “Reaching Higher” programme when Caron Troskie reports every second week about participant’s progress in the “Weekly Wellness” segment.

“The East London community has been incredible and it really is a great comfort knowing I have them backing Logan,” acknowledges Hayley.

Hayley also has support and encouragement from Canaan Care Centre where Logan is enrolled.

“I enrolled Logan at the Canaan Care Centre as I had heard many great things about the therapy they provide to the children in their care. I wanted to get him as much help as I could from as young as possible. So I contacted Eleanor Saayman who runs the school and set up an appointment. I could tell after chatting to her, and from all her support, that it would be the best day care facility for him.”

Though Hayley continues to receive support, there are parents who may be alone or feel alone in their circumstances so offers these words of advice,

“I think that we should all just stick together and support each other, share experiences and help get the awareness of cerebral palsy out there which would benefit our children in so many ways.”

Hayley Bartle is a truly humble person and is appreciative of all the support she, and Logan, have received.

“There are so many people to thank that it is impossible to thank them all individually. So I would like to thank everyone who is involved with Logan’s campaign. I am truly blessed and beyond grateful for everyone’s support and what they are doing for Logan and myself. My heart is lightened each day knowing I have so many people on this journey with me.”

  • Contact Wendy Kretschmann for more info on how you can be a part of Logan and Hayley’s journey – wendyk@goexpress.co.za | WhatsApp 072 738 2540
  • “Reaching Higher” is broadcast weekdays from 9.30am until 12pm on Link FM. The next Fit for Logan instalment will be broadcast at 10am on Wednesday May 26th.
  • The GO! & Express is the sole print media sponsor of the Fit For Logan Challenge.

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