A terminally ill Pennsylvania 2-year-old, whose parents pushed their wedding up by a year to be sure he'd be alive to be part of it, died Monday.
Doctors told Christine Swidorsky and Sean Stevenson that Logan, their son, had only weeks to live. Logan was born with a rare blood disorder called Fanconi's anemia, which keeps cells from repairing damaged DNA and can lead to certain cancers.
"Sean and I held him all day," Swidorsky wrote on her Facebook page Monday night. "He was comfortable with his medication. Then, at 8:18, my son took his last breath in my arms."
The couple had been planning to get married next year, but once they got the dire news from Logan's doctor, they decided to move up the wedding, planning it in a week. It took place Saturday, Aug. 3, in Jeannette, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh.
They held the 12-minute ceremony in the backyard of their home.
Logan, carried by Swidorsky, wore a pin-striped suit.
"This is our dream come true," said Swidorsky, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday.
Sean Stevenson thanked friends and family who had donated food and helped out with wedding arrangements so the family could spend much of the day together.
"It means the world to me. It means the world to me. We're just blessed every day that he's here with us," he said.
"We knew about that but always had it in back of our minds that we've just got to get over this next hump no matter what it was," Stevenson said last week.
Even though Logan was born a month early and had difficulty eating, Stevenson said he was a normal baby for the first year of his life.
A few months after his first birthday, however, Logan was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, which is uncommon in people younger than 45, according to the American Cancer Society.
Logan underwent chemotherapy and a cord blood transplant, and went into remission for nine months.
"As time went by, we started noticing Logan was doing really good." Stevenson said. "It kind of seemed like our family was getting back to some kind of normalcy."
But it didn't last. Swidorsky noticed Logan was acting strange, Stevenson said. He lifted his left arm a lot as if he were stretching, but she sensed there was something wrong with her son. They soon learned he had a tumor the size of an orange on his left kidney.
Doctors removed the tumor and the kidney, leaving Logan with a right kidney that was smaller than normal and didn't function properly, which is common in Fanconi's anemia patients. Further therapy to shrink the tumor wasn't possible, Stevenson said.
That was when doctors advised the family to make memories while they still could. They called the Make-a-Wish Foundation and set up a trip to Disney World (Disney World and ABC News are both owned by the Walt Disney Co.). On the second morning of their trip, Logan's grandmother woke Swidorsky and Stevenson.
"There's something wrong with Logan," she said.
Stevenson saw that Logan was lethargic and his eyes rolled toward the back of his head.
After stays at two hospitals in Florida, where doctors told the family that Logan was dehydrated and in septic shock, Logan was returned to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital on a medical flight. After spending almost three weeks on a ventilator, he woke up.
"He was home not even a week, maybe four or five days, and my fiancee started noticing something," Stevenson said. "That's when they found a mass in the same spot where his left kidney would have been."
On July 26, doctors told Stevenson and Swidorsky that their son would live no more than three weeks.
"We were waiting for when Logan got better so it would be a wonderful day for him," Stevenson said of their previous wedding plans. "We just decided to have the wedding together this weekend and threw everything together in a week."
The family wants to share Logan's story to show the world how hard he fought, and to let other families with sick children know they're not alone.
"The toughest thing a parent has to do is bury one of their children," Stevenson said. "He showed me personally that I have to be as strong as he was."
- Family & Relationships