Larissa’s aunt, Regina Higgs, took pictures from a four-day hospital visit and turned them into a book. The Logan County Public Library and one of Larissa’s doctors are planning to use is as a teaching tool.
The book, “My Hospital Adventure,” is written from Larissa’s perspective and includes many pictures of her in the hospital. She is shown with doctors and nurses, eating and just posing. The light-hearted tone of the book shows that a hospital visit doesn’t have to be all bad.
“This book will be a great resource,” said Monica Edwards, director of youth services at the library.
Edwards said parents of children who have to go to the hospital often look for books that could help prepare their children for that experience.
“These kind of books are perfect,” Edwards said. By reading about Larissa’s time in the hospital, children can see that it is not as scary as they may think.
Larissa’s parents, Sonja and Gary Logan, have been through a lot with their daughter, but Sonja said she is pleased that they are able to use these experiences to help others.
Sonja said her daughter has been special from the start. For years, Sonja couldn’t have children, but then she got pregnant and Larissa was born.
“She is a miracle baby,” Sonja said.
Larissa’s health issues began when she was around ten months old. She had a lot of respiratory infections and then had a spell, which they now believe was a mild seizure, at a restaurant one evening. By the age of one, she had double pneumonia and seizures. At two years old, Larissa’s fingers and foot began to swell. Tests were run and doctors said she had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and one leg was shorter than the other. Larissa also had three surgeries to put tubes in her ears and had to travel to doctors in Louisville and Nashville because of her various medical conditions.
When Larissa was about three and a half, her doctor ordered a four-day EEG study at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
“The book is based on that four-day stay,” Sonja explained.
During that time, Larissa had 24 wires on her head and they monitored her brain activity and other functions 24 hours a day.
Dr. Kevin Ess was trying to see if Larissa had epilepsy, which she did not. Sonja said the good news was that Larissa’s seizures were what are called febrile seizures which are associated with fevers.
Knowing this, the Logans are now able to give her a medicine to control her seizures whenever she gets sick and might have a fever. She doesn’t have them very often any more and the last one was in August.
Sonja said many of Larissa’s medical problems have now corrected themselves and she is a healthy, active girl.
“I know this child has come through a lot because God was with her,” Sonja said.
In 2008, when Larissa’s aunt, Regina Higgs, came to visit, Sonja gave her a CD with pictures of Larissa in the hospital on it. Higgs decided it would make a great memory book, organized the pictures and put words with them.
When Sonja got it, she brought it to the library to show her friends there. She got several comments about how a book like that could be used to help other children who are going to the hospital or doctor.
Library Director Linda Kompanik asked where she could get a copy and when Sonja showed Dr. Ess, he also asked for a copy. The book has not been published, but Sonja had a copy made to donate to the library and Dr. Ess.
“I can’t believe it’s gone this far,” Sonja said. Edwards is planning to use the book during story hour at the library and Dr. Ess is planning to use it when he teaches.
“I know my daughter is a miracle from God,” Sonja said. “Looking back on her life, I know what all we’ve been through and if that can touch a life and help someone then that is good.”