Learning to Live Again

The story of Logan Olson

After waking up from a coma, Logan Olson had to relearn everything and was upset that life would never be the same again. With the help of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institution, Logan learned not only how to survive, but to live again.

On the night of October 31, 2001, 16-year-old Logan suffered a heart attack walking through a haunted house. Northwest MedStar, another service of Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), cared for and transported Logan safely to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Childrens Hospital (SHMC). Logan survived the heart attack, but fell into a coma which resulted in a brain injury. When she woke up three weeks later, Logan could not control her body and had to learn how to live all over again.

Logan was upset at first because life was going to be so different. She needed to learn how to breathe, swallow, sit, stand, talk, get dressed, and eat. Logan’s mother, Laurie Olson, reminded her, “so many people fought to keep you alive, so what if it’s different, let’s live!” After three months in SHMC, Logan was admitted to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institution, the region’s largest free-standing rehabilitation hospital and a division of INHS. The staff at St. Luke’s helped her through physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

The transition was not easy for Logan and her family. St. Luke’s staff guided Logan through baby steps that reintroduced her to simple tasks. At first, Logan and her family were fearful and scared of this life-changing process. Laurie recalls “we were loosing hope, but their little steps towards recovery worked.” St. Luke’s staff encouraged the family to push Logan to work as hard as she could during the painstaking steps. Laurie explained, “St. Luke’s taught us how to successfully navigate through a traumatic experience. They held our whole family’s hands and walked us through a successful journey.”

Through therapy sessions, Logan was able to successfully sit up within a month. In two and a half months, she was able to focus her eyes again. Within three months, Logan could feed herself and move about without a walker. When Logan left St. Luke’s she had the strength, courage and drive to begin learning how to live again.

St. Luke’s gave Logan and her family all the resources and tools needed to go back home. Logan longed to express the fashion aspect of her personality. With unsteady hands and fingers, she realized how difficult it was to express her fashion sense. That is when she decided to come up with a magazine for young women with disabilities. She wants to inspire girls just like her to “Do your makeup still. Do your hair still. Keep living, keep living, keep living!”

As an outpatient of St. Luke’s, therapists came up with creative sessions that worked with Logan’s new goals and lifestyle. Logan had found the motivation to excel at her therapy sessions.

Since the launch of Logan Magazine, Logan has shared her story and other inspiring stories. She was able to experience one of life’s most important stepping stones, walking at graduation. Today, at 23 years old, Logan is a successful magazine publisher and an inspiration to all. Laurie expresses her thanks to St. Luke’s staff, “St. Luke’s taught us priceless information to do more than just cope, but LIVE!”

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St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute
711 S. Cowley St.
Spokane, WA 99202-1330

Inpatient Information: (509) 473-6058 or 1-833-FOR-SLR-1
Outpatient Information: (509) 473-6869