By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
Logan Andrews looked completely healthy when he was born nearly 17 years ago in Concord, North Carolina, tipping the scales at 10 pounds.
But he wasn’t. Within hours, doctors discovered a heart condition – hypoplastic left heart syndrome – that caused the left side of his heart to be dangerously underdeveloped.
Almost 1,000 miles away in Boston, baby Allison Wolfe was fighting for her life at Boston’s Children Hospital. An ultrasound when her mother was 16 weeks pregnant revealed a serious, complex heart abnormality called Tetralogy of Fallot. Her mother, Amy Wolfe, was in such shock that the doctor had to draw a picture to help her understand. Allison had surgery in May 1999, when she was 1 month old.
In June of that year, the lives of the two infants crossed paths at the famed children’s hospital. Logan arrived with doctors in a private jet, while his mother recovered from a C-section. Allison was still there, fighting back infections and setbacks.
Both babies were treated there for months. They faced crisis after crisis as their parents hoped and prayed that doctors could work miracles on their babies.
The odds of either baby surviving were slim. The chances that both could pull through were almost nil.
Last month, the two miracle babies crossed paths again on a date that none of their parents had even allowed themselves to dream of years ago.
At Logan’s invitation, Allison was his date to prom.
Allison, whose school was not having a prom, received the invitation in a Build-A-Bear package that Logan had sent from Burlington, North Carolina. She was floored.
“I was thinking it was something I had ordered from Amazon,” Allison said of opening the package from Logan. “I didn’t see it coming at all.”
In North Carolina, however, Logan had been hatching this plan with his mother for a while. He had heard that Allison would not have a “first prom,” and that bothered him.
“I feel like I was doing something God told me to do,” Logan said of inviting Allison. And he was glad he did.
Allison and her family drove to Burlington and stayed with Logan’s family. On prom day, Logan’s older sister, Leah, did Allison’s makeup and packed goody bags for the backseat of the car. Leah and her boyfriend chauffeured the couple around for the evening, including dinner at the Angus Barn, Raleigh’s most upscale restaurant.
There, they were treated like royalty by the staff, who had been alerted beforehand what a special couple was in their midst.
“I was just so happy,” said Allison, who was also celebrating her 17th birthday.
Later, when the two arrived at the prom, they felt like they were living a dream.
“It was amazing. I can’t begin to put it into words,” Allison said.
Back at Logan’s house, the parents celebrated with ribs, relishing the moment.
“It just felt like a triumph,” said Elizabeth Standafer, Logan’s mother. “When you have a kid [with a serious heart condition], you don’t picture the future. For those two kids to be able to do that was like an exclamation point on a long, long story.”
The mothers of the two teens had bonded years ago as their babies fought for their lives. Standafer recalled the horror of being told her son had a lethal heart condition.
“I could not imagine that my child could be missing part of his heart,” she said.
Despite surgeries, infections, complications and near-death emergencies, the babies eventually went home. Their mothers remained in touch, but Allison and Logan had not seen each other in more than 10 years – until the prom.
Now reunited, the two vow to stay in touch forever.
“I’m so grateful for this,” Allison said. “It’s really unique to have this friendship.”
Photos and video courtesy of the Wolfe family