Logan Schaefer, Teenager Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury
Coach Vic Schaefer was on a recruiting trip to Cincinnati when he received the phone call every parent fears. It was 8:35 a.m. on July 12, 2010. The voice on the other end of the line was an emergency physician at a hospital in Crockett, Texas, where his 14-year-old son Logan had been transported following a wakeboarding accident. Logan was unconscious, unresponsive and seizing following a traumatic brain injury; the physician recommended emergency transport to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, the closest hospital with a Level I trauma center.
Schaefer, the women’s associate head basketball coach at Texas A&M University, cut short his trip and arrived in Dallas on a 2:30 p.m. flight from Cincinnati. As he made his way home to Texas, he learned the details of Logan’s accident. While wakeboarding at Frontier Camp, a Christian-based adventure retreat in East Texas, Logan carved into the wake, went airborne and lost his balance mid-air. As the board landed he spun backwards, fell and hit his head in the water. On a second run through the water, his head began to throb. He vomited three times and passed out when he returned to shore.
At East Texas Medical Center, neurosurgeon Thomas Grahm, M.D., performed an emergency craniotomy to relieve pressure on the brain caused by a subdural hematoma. He was also able to stop the bleed. The following day Logan awakened just long enough to give his parents the two-thumbs-up sign.
On July 23, after 11 touch-and-go days in intensive care, Logan was transferred to TIRR Memorial Hermann for rehabilitation. He arrived on a Thursday, was assessed by physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Cindy Ivanhoe, M.D., on Friday and began therapy on Saturday. He couldn’t walk, his speech was a barely audible whisper and he could hardly hold up his head.
Vic and Holly Schaefer stayed by Logan’s side during his 28-day hospitalization at TIRR, coaching him through physical and occupational therapy. During his stay, Texas A&M head football coach Mike Sherman visited the hospital and presented Logan with an official 12th Man jersey, inviting him to be an honorary captain at the first game of the season.
On August 27, 2010, 39 days after his accident, Logan walked out of TIRR. A week later on September 4, five days after his 15th birthday, he was introduced as honorary captain at the Texas A&M-Stephen F. Austin State University football game. A video shown on the football field’s big screen chronicled Logan’s journey from coma to Kyle Field.
He attributes his success to his father, who motivated him, pushed him through rehabilitation and kept him optimistic.
In early November 2010, Logan was cleared to return to baseball in the spring, and mid-month he ran his first mile with his father after the accident. He says he’s grateful for the second chance he’s been given, for the prayers that came from around the world and for everyone who played a role in his rehabilitation.