A True Story
I believe in a living God. He is the same God of the Old and New Testaments, and I believe that He is still at work in this world today, still performing miracles. This essay, is the testimony of the miracle He performed in my life.
. . . I do not know, and I will not pretend to know, for I cannot explain why God chooses to save some who are prayed for, and allow for others to die. I do not tell my story, because I believe that I am better than the millions of children who have died after many many nights of prayer, for this is not the case. I know that there are just as many stories of families losing a child, as there are of their child being healed.
I share my story, for I hope that through me, His glory will be seen. For He is a living God, who is stilling performing miracles today.
I don’t remember everything that happened in those twenty-nine days. I have blocked out so much, you have to do that as you get older. You learn that it’s not healthy to dwell on something so tragic if you want to live; it feels like it was so long ago.
It all started on that one July morning. My eyelids were somewhat heavy with fatigue; the red, digital numbers on my clock read 7:50. Joe was already at work, he had left at 6:30, and Logan was sleeping in his crib. I felt a kick in my stomach. I gave a soft grunt and held my belly. My second son was in there—Justin. I was seven months pregnant with him, but it felt more like fifty. I was ready for him to come out for this miserable pregnancy could end, and so I could look upon his beautiful face.
There was a noise in the kitchen—just a noise. I don’t know how to explain it. I left the comforts of my warm bed as I went to investigate.
Logan was sitting in the floor; he must have snuck out of his crib. “Logan, what are you doing out of bed?” I asked him. He didn’t reply, just starred at me. His hands and face were dyed a bright red as if he had been eating red M&Ms. “What do you have on your face and hands?” Again he didn’t answer. Beside him was an empty bottle—my iron pills! My heart slightly dropped as I rushed for the phone. I listened as the phone rang as I watched Logan. He seemed fine—just smiling away. The cabinet that had held my pills was open. It was above several shelves—Logan had to have climbed them to get to my pills. He must have had seen me put them away and thought that they were candy.
“Hi, Dr. Kruglet,” I spoke, “this is Kelly Stark. . . You know Logan, my son . . . Well he got into my iron pills this morning. . . No, the bottle is completely empty . . . I’ll check.”
Dr. Kruglet had asked if I had searched the floor vents to see if Logan had hidden my pills in them—he said toddlers were known to do so. I walked from room to room and checked the vents. There were no red pills, just specs of trash and dust bunnies. “There’s no pills in the vents . . . Okay, I’ll call Joe and we’ll be at your office soon . . . Okay, thanks. Bye.”
The phone started to beep as I dialed Joe’s cell, (he had the only car in the family at this time). The phone rang.
“Hello . . . hey honey . . . Is he okay? . . . I’ll be over their shortly . . . Okay, bye.” I walked into my boss’ office in Wheeler’s, a hardware store in Fort Morgan, Colorado; it had a musty smell to it. “Hey Doug,” I greeted my boss.
“Joe, what can I do for you?” he asked.
“I need to take my son to the doctor’s office. He got into my wife’s iron pills and our doctor wants to check to see if everything’s working as it should.”
“Is he alright?”
“Yeah, it’s just iron. Maybe he’ll be like Popeye after spinach.”
After a chuckle, Doug said I could go, and I made jokes to my other coworkers as I left the hardware store. What harm could a bunch of iron do? They were probably just going to pump Logan’s stomach and teach him a hard lesson.
At least, that’s what I thought . . .
Joe drove Logan and me to the doctor’s office. Dr. Kruglet quickly took Logan to another room and gave him an X-ray . . . When he showed it to us, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. From Logan’s stomach to his intestines were pills—seventy-eight of them! Almost three fourths of the bottle!
Dr. Kruglet did not like what he saw and rushed Logan to the hospital. He drove Logan in his own car as Kelly and I followed. Both of us were calm at this point. Logan had been fine at the doctor’s office. He had been smiling; this was just one big adventure for him.
I dropped Kelly off at the hospital as I drove home to gather supplies. This would probably take most of the day and Kelly wanted me to grab diapers, a change of clothes for Logan, and a few other things that she hadn’t snatched when we had left for the doctor’s office.
When I had left, Logan was a happy, little boy . . . when I got back . . . things had drastically changed. Logan was unresponsive. The doctor said that the iron was too caustic to puke. He had been given stuff to help excrete the pills instead, and the nurses counted them as they came out. Dr. Kruglet was breathing down the necks of the nurses, making sure that they were following each of his demands to the letter. Kelly said that he had been like that after getting off the phone with the poison control. Logan’s condition was too severe for a small hospital; a life flight was on its way.
We watched them load Logan into the helicopter. Kelly could not fly because she was pregnant, so we would be going to Denver by car. Kelly told me what had happened as we rushed home, gathered more supplies, and drove to Denver. She said that Logan had been fine one minute, and in the next, became unresponsive.
I had watched them poke IVs into him. He made no noise . . . no movement. He couldn’t feel a thing.
The car was filled with little conversation and much tears as we drove two hours to Denver. The black asphalt stretched forever, making the trip seem longer.
I blamed myself. If only I had gotten up sooner that morning, this never would have happened, it was all my fault.
When we got there, we weren’t allowed to be in the same room, we weren’t even allowed to see him. He was in the ICU, with a three out of ten chance of surviving the night. If he did survive this tragedy, the doctors said he could possibly suffer damage to his lungs, kidneys, liver, brain, and to any other vital organ.
“Mr. and Mrs. Stark,” said a woman with a cold voice. “I need to see you for a moment.” Kelly and I walked into another room; the woman closed the door sternly. We all sat down before the social worker sourly opened her moth, blurting a series of questions: “Who was taking care of the boy? Why wasn’t Kelly up when Logan got into the pills? Why weren’t the pills in a secure place? Why was Logan not in a bed that he couldn’t escape?”
Kelly was weeping and my anger was burning hotter than an erupting volcano. Never before had I wanted to hit a woman in my life. She was treating us as if we were child abuses. I finally stood up and told her as calm as I could muster, “I’m done. I want to be with my son.” I took Kelly’s hands and stormed out of that room—the social service worker left us alone after that. She talked to us more yes, but she didn’t interrogate us again.
We called our relatives about Logan: parents, brother-in-law, sister, and heard each of them breakdown. We slept in a small bedroom on a bunkbed that night. We were finally able to see him from behind a glass window. He was nothing more than a little mass of tape and tubes. The little boy that had been so full of life was just laying there. They kept poking him, but he did not move.
Relatives flew down to see Logan, his grandparents, uncles, cousins, even his great grandpa Burks. The doctors thought that Logan might have been exposed to chicken pox by other visitors, so we all had to go through the ritual of scrubbing our hands clean, wearing gowns and masks to see him. We all looked silly wearing the gowns and masks, but we did not utter a word of humor. Unfortunately, they could only stay a couple of days because of their jobs.
On the third day of being in Denver, Logan was transferred to a children’s hospital, and we no longer needed the gowns and masks to see him. Joe and me could not sleep at the hospital and had to rest in a hotel that night. Just one night, they had a room for us at the Ronald McDonald’s House after that. There was a shuttle from the house to the hospital, but we walked most mornings through the ruff neighborhood.
Logan’s room was near the Burn Unit. Joe and I saw the mangled bodies of kids that had survived fires and heard their screams as their flesh was torn off everyday, so that clean skin could grow.
Logan had been given medicine so he could not move for he would not mess up his breathing unit. He just laid there.
Two weeks passed, and all my vacation was gone. I called my boss to see what I should do. Doug said I had to come back. I asked if there was a leave of absence or anything else I could use to stay longer. Doug rejected this idea; he was tired of covering for me. If I did not come back, I would not have a job . . . I had no choice.
I left Kelly and Logan in Denver and drove back to Fort Morgan. I felt like I had betrayed my family, but I had to have a job to support them.
Both Joe and me would talk to Logan everyday and sing to him. We all prayed so much during those days.
Barney was on the TV; I had never watched so much Barney in my life. Logan liked it, and I wanted him to be happy. He had his Barney doll right next to him as he watched his favorite, purple dinosaur, and he also had another doll sitting with him. It was a baby with a plastic face and a blue, cloth body—it was his favorite toy. He kept it close to him, so close that it had blood on it from the IV.
The hospital room had a tape player in it. I bought a tape from the gift shop for it: “Jesus Loves Me,” by heartbeat. It kept Logan relaxed. . . . And it gave me comfort too.
Ben and Brenda, my pastor and his wife, visited. They gave Logan another toy, a brown dog. A soft dog. She was added to the collection of friends on Logan’s bed. He later named her Lossy, after the dog that his Papa Ben and Grandma Brenda had.
“Hey Joe,” said one of the ladies at Wheeler’s, “it’s nice to have you back. How’s Logan doing?”
“I don’t know,” I answered. “When I left, there was a fifty-fifty chance that he’ll live.”
“What?! Then what are you doing here?”
“Doug said that I had to come back or I’ll be fired.”
“You gotta be joking! You shouldn’t be here.”
“No . . . I shouldn’t,” I agreed.
It was less than an hour when I was called into Doug’s office. “How’s your son?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “When I left, they didn’t know if he would make it or not.”
“No, no idea. He was in bad shape. Logan has no lining in his intestines, and he could also have failures in his brain, liver, kidneys, and any other vital organs.
“Well, I made the decision to let you go back up there. I’ll cover for you, and your job will be waiting for you when you come back.” I thanked Doug and walked out of his office.
“What did he ask?” asked a woman outside the door. I told her. “That’s bull. Three of us went in there and told him if he didn’t let you go back up to be with your little boy, we were going to beat him.”
I felt so much joy in my heart. I can’t explain it, just pure joy and thankfulness. “Thank you, and tell the other women thanks too.”
My coworkers pooled a little money and gifts together to send with me. It wasn’t much, but the thought was much more precious than all the gold in the world.
It costed $6.50 a day to stay at the Ronald McDonald’s House and hospital food was expensive. If it wasn’t for the church sending us money, I don’t know what we would have done. I felt alone without Joe, but there were other parents to talk to at the McDonald’s House that had kids going through organ transplants. I was around people who cared. Even the workers here had children who have had hospital troubles.
The architecture was beautiful. It had been an old home that had been fixed up to provide comfort, and a space away from the hospital. A break from the continuous heartbreak.
In Logan’s room, I read a Readers Digest Condensed. The book helped me get through this tragedy; I don’t know what I would have done without it. It was filled with stories about faith, hope, and accidents of other people who lived.
The doctors tried everything to help Logan. They tried to remove the ventilator so that Logan could breathe on his own. If he used the ventilator for too long, it could cause damage to his eyes. But when they removed the tube, his lungs closed up and he could not breath, and they had troubles getting another tube back in.
Logan also experienced animal therapy. The first dog that was brought in was a golden retriever. Logan petted the dog’s fur, but he didn’t care for it much. There was another dog later though, and he loved it. I don’t remember what type of dog it was, a pointer dog of some sort, her name was Amber, and she did a whole routine of tricks for him: rollover, play dead, and even caught treats in the air. Logan smiled, the first time I’ve seen him smile since he ate my pills; it brought tears to my eyes. Not tears of sadness, but of joy. The lady even gave Logan treats to feed the dog—he liked that too.
A week after I had returned . . . Logan suddenly, just began getting better! Gradually, but he was going to live!! I had to return to work, but my boy was going to live! It was a miracle!! Even some of the doctors that were not Christians considered it a miracle. They couldn’t explain it, had no other explanations than it had to be something supernatural. These doctors had tried the same procedures on many other kids who were in Logan’s condition—all of them had died. And Logan had more pills in his system than all of them. He should have died, but by the grace of God he lived!
Logan was going to live! My heart sang for joy at the good news! He had to go through rehab though. He could no longer sit, crawl, or walk, and he had to be taught everything again. He couldn’t drink without gagging. His liquids had to be thickened with Thicket so he could drink them.
I came back to the hospital after a week—Logan was coming home! He had been in the hospital for one day shy of a month, twenty-nine days. I was so thankful.
Logan was a different child after that. He was so scared, terrified of everyone. He used to be such a friendly baby that would let anyone hold him. But now, he only allowed Kelly to. She would rock him for hours in a rocking chair in his room.
The nurses tried to teach us how to take out and put in Logan’s nasogastric tubes. I tried to learn, but I was so exhausted and sick from this month of agony. I was grateful that they were sending a nurse home with us. I was so grateful for her, she took care of us. I just broke down and became sick when we got home. She did the laundry for me and washed dishes. I was so thankful for all she did, and do you know what? All she asked in return, was for me to help someone else who needed it.
I had a hard month and a hard pregnancy. My doctor was worried I would have an undeveloped baby because of it, but Justin was as healthy as a horse.
. . . I thank God every day, for the miracle He gave me.
Hi, my name is Logan Emery Stark, and I guess I could go by Iron Man. I was born in Burlington, Colorado on November 2, 1991, during a snowstorm. I moved and lived in Fort Morgan for about ten years before moving again to Neosho, Missouri. I am a healthy young man, free of damage to my brain, kidneys, liver, and any other vital organs. I’m about to be twenty-four, while also attending Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas as a second year senior. I walked away from that hospital, with only scars from the tubes and possibly my speech impediment. (A lot of people though think it’s a British, German, or Australian accent, so it’s pretty cool.)
Thank you to everyone, who helped me and visited me during that hard month, especially my mom and dad. Most of all, I want to thank the Lord for saving my life. I owe You so much Lord, for my life, for the air I breath each day, for everything.
I live, because of the hand of a living God who provided a miracle, in the Denver Children’s Hospital in 1993.