SIDNEY — Christmas came early for Logan Heath and his family this year.
After being involved in a car crash in October, Logan returned to his rural Sidney home Wednesday afternoon, escorted by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputy who found him the night of the crash.
Logan, son of Christi Heath and Jerry Heath, was on his way home from helping his cousin, Eli Putnam, harvest corn.
“It was late at night and he didn’t text me that he was going to be late,” said his mom, Christi. “I waited for him and after a bit of time, I tried to text and call him but he didn’t answer.”
She said she called her brother Nick to see if he knew whether Logan was going to be late getting home.
“I drove around looking for him,” she recalled. “I called Eli’s dad to ask him when Logan left their house and whether he was going any place else. He said he wasn’t. So I just kept driving around, going to places where I thought he might be.”
Logan’s dad also began searching for his son. He was driving along state Route 589 when he saw a Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy stopped on the roadway.
“The deputy saw there were tire tracks on the road that weren’t there previously,” said Christi.
Thanks to Deputy Chris VanMeter, Logan was found around two hours after the crash. Officials said his truck hit a pothole and then hit a guardrail. From there, the truck flipped and landed in a cornfield, where the vehicle was not visible because of the corn that was still standing in the field.
“Logan laid in the field for two hours before they found him,” said Christi. “He was hypothermic. I had driven past that area several times but because of the standing corn, I couldn’t see his truck. We’re so lucky the deputy noticed the tire tracks.”
Logan was transported to Wilson Health by the Rosewood Emergency Squad. From there, he was taken by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton.
“He suffered a fractured breast bone, broke ribs and broken scapula,” said Christi. “And he has a spinal cord injury. They’ve put a rod and screws in his back.”
Christi said the spinal injury has caused a paralysis for Logan. The prognosis is unknown at this time, she said, because it can take up to two years before they know what feeling he will get back.
Logan said he doesn’t remember the crash.
“I remember looking up at the lights in ICU,” he said of the first thing he remembers after the crash.
Logan spent 16 days in ICU. He suffered from a collapsed lung, which prolonged his recovery. He then spent nine days in the trauma unit.
“He then went to Dodd Hall at Ohio State University for 30 days,” she said.
Logan was greeted by the road to his home lined with well-wishers holding signs. He also was driven past Fairlawn School, where the students and staff all came outside to welcome him home. Logan is in his senior year at Fairlawn.
On Tuesday, Logan will go to the Martha Morehouse Outpatient Care at OSU in Columbus for an evaluation to see where his physical therapy goes from here.
“He has the option of returning to school, having teachers come to the house to give him his lessons or to go to school online,” said Christi. “We haven’t made a decision on that yet.”
Christi and Logan are both thankful for the community support the family has received since the crash.
“It’s been amazing,” said Christi, of the community’s outpouring of support.
Logan said he received the strength he needed since October from the people who have been supporting him since the crash.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to normal,” said Logan.
Christi said she drew strength from Logan since the crash.
“Logan has been really strong,” she said, “which helps me make me strong for him. Everybody around us has helped us.”
The Heaths live in a home they rent from Christi’s aunt and uncle, Dick and Denise Huelskamp. Thanks to their support, the home has been adapted to meet Logan’s new needs. Her cousin, Doug Huelskamp, did the work for an addition to the house so Logan will have a bedroom on the ground floor along with a handicapped bathroom. Ramping has also been added so he can easily get in and out of the house.
“I asked Logan what he wanted to wear when he came home on Wednesday. He told me ‘boots and jeans.’ He’s just a farm kid who wants to get back to what he loves.”
Logan said it was a very good welcome home Wednesday.
“I just want to say thank you to everybody,” he said.