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Logann Beaver

Overcoming adversity

RAMSEUR — When does a major obstacle become less of an obstacle? How can a serious health situation for a child be overcome? When does a tragedy that will change the trajectory of a child’s life, somehow become a little less tragic?

When the person batting through this tragedy and the incredible support system around her refuses to let that in any way define or even hamper them on the journey through life.

Eastern Randolph High School’s Logann Beaver was just over 2 years old when an accident at home left her legally blind in one eye. For many, such a nightmare might alter life's plans, leading them to ask why, to doubt their abilities, maybe even crawl into a shell. 

But Beaver's parents, other family members, her church and the community provided physical and spiritual guidance, and Beaver did not let that handicap get in the way of what has grown into a wonderful and inspirational tale.

It was an accident. A coffee cup fell from the cabinet, hitting the counter and shattering with a piece hitting Logann in the eye. After two surgeries and countless meetings with eye specialists, Beaver was considered legally blind in her right eye. 

But for those who were unaware of the tragedy, it wasn’t known. Beaver instead continued her childhood much like any young girl growing up, going to school, participating in sports, becoming active in her church and then maturing into a high-caliber high school athlete. All the while, handling everything that came her way with a conquering attitude that indeed separated her from many others at her school.

“We never used it as a crutch,” said her father, Michael, an assistant coach on the ER varsity softball team. “It never held her back and we never let her think it was anything like that. She has never talked about it a ton, but she has overcome so much.”

ER softball coach Dallas Cross said she’s amazed in what she has seen Beaver accomplish.

“For her to overcome something like that when most kids would just use it as an excuse, she leads by example but follows God,” Cross said. “She’s consistently doing things in the classroom that are great. For me, she is a beautiful individual inside and out. As far as leadership, she does all the things without me ever having to say anything. She just doesn’t let this affect her.

“I think people who know her like I have come to know her just love her because they understand what she could have done,” Cross added. “Not be involved in anything. She continues to strive and help others. There is a shining light on her and those who raised her.”

It was a September day in 2008 when the injury occurred. Because Logann’s mother, Shannon, is a nurse, she knew immediately what to do, first flushing her eye out and then immediately calling an eye doctor. 

The doctor agreed to meet the Beavers at his office and then once there, he immediately directed them to Moses Cone Hospital.

“He lined everything up while we were on the way,” Michael said. “We went straight to Moses Come and they were waiting for us. They took her straight to the operating room. It was nice to know God was in control.”

Of course, Logann said she doesn’t remember the incident.

“I remember the earliest days that had anything to do with my eye, I had to wear a hard contact in my eye for multiple years,” she said. “I remember having to go to a pediatric eye doctor three or four times a week and my eye doctor saying he didn’t know what was going to happen. I went three or four times a week, then every three weeks or so and then every year to a doctor in Greensboro.”

Although she had numerous meetings with eye specialists and was forced to wear an eyepatch over her left eye in an attempt to strengthen the right eye, her life continued as normal as possible. 

“I had to come to school wearing an eye patch and everyone was helpful if I needed anything,” Beaver said.

Beaver said her mother has told her countless stories of the community support she received.

“Everyone who has been through this journey with me has been so helpful,” Beaver said. “My mom tells me stories about people who came to the hospital and just prayed over me. Everyone prayed over me and I am a big believer in prayers. She would always say how they came to see you in the hospital. I’m so grateful for the doctors and nurses, anyone who even had a small role.”

There were obviously challenges.

“Whenever I was really young, people would say stuff,” Beaver said. “Not bullying, but they would say something about it and I would say I couldn't help it. It was what it was.”
When Logann, who spells her name with two Ns because her mother didn’t want people thinking she was a boy, became interested in sports, another wave of cautiousness occurred.

She began playing T-ball when she was 5 and softball immediately after. 

She continued playing softball, picked up basketball, volleyball and then soccer in middle school. There were certainly some precautions that had to be taken, but the Beavers were not going to keep Logann away from sports.

“She has an older sister (Savannah) and she’s always played rough and tough,” Michael said. “She’s always been around sports. She has never let her hold her back. She is happy, go-lucky, She never used it as a crutch. That could have been an easy way out. Her mom and I both just prayed about it and prayed that the good Lord’s hands would protect her and He always had.”

Logann said as she grew older, there were times she had to share with coaches and teammates what had happened.

“I remember when I was 10 or 12, they asked me if I could hit from the left side and I couldn’t even see the ball.” she said. “Hitting from the left side is out of the picture, but other than that, it hasn’t really affected me.

“The only time while playing sports I noticed it was in basketball when someone would come up from my right side,” she added. “I wouldn’t notice them and sometimes run into them. I told my teammates and everyone thought I was joking and I’m like, no, I really can’t see out of my right eye.”

Beaver said doctors advised her not to play certain sports and there are some things — like cutting the lawn — that are prohibited. While playing sports, she was told to wear protective glasses, which she did for awhile when she was younger. She still wears a mask while playing infield in softball.

When she arrived at ERHS, her older sister Savannah, a softball star, helped her navigate the high school sports scene.

“I remember as a freshman, you feel out of place, you're going through things for the first time,” she said. “I picked up volleyball and began learning the ways of high school volleyball and then played softball with my sister.”

She added basketball her sophomore and junior years while playing volleyball and softball all four seasons.

“Throughout the years, I made so many great friends,” Beaver said. I am really grateful for all the memories I have made for Eastern.”

She has won numerous team and conference awards, performing at a high level while still being legally blind in her right eye. Most people never even noticed.

“I’m very open about it, but I don’t talk about it, I don’t advertise it,” Beaver said. “If someone wants to talk about it, I will. If you didn’t hear about it, you wouldn’t know and that makes me feel good. It feels good to hear people say they didn’t notice. It’s just another day for me.”

Beaver, who is also an excellent student, said she remembers one practice during her sophomore year when her basketball coach yelled at her for not seeing someone coming at her from behind.

“The person would come from the right side and I wouldn’t see them and he would say, ‘What are you doing?’ And I’d say ‘I can’t see.’ My teammates would then tell him I really can’t see. I look back and laugh.”

As far as college, Beaver had a decision to make. She received offers for both volleyball and softball, but decided she wanted to play collegiate volleyball.

She first went to a game at Davidson-Davie Community College and loved that experience.

“I had a few friends who went there,” Beaver said, mentioning Southwestern Randolph High School grad Carleigh Whitson. “She said she loved it there and the atmosphere was great. I went to a game there and loved it. They were playing Sandhills, and I was thinking about going there as well. The atmosphere was so great and everyone was loud and the crowd was so behind the team.”

She then visited Sandhills and then Davidson-Davie again. Once she talked to the Davidson-Davie coach, she knew where she was going to go.

“I knew I wanted to go there, I loved the coach and it was a great fit,” Beaver said.

“I am very grateful and I am so blessed to be able to play like I can and play at these high levels and compete like I can with my situation,” Beaver added. “I’m just glad my parents pushed me to do my best and that really helped me and I’m really grateful for that. 

“Whatever you have, you can get through. I think God does everything for a reason. He sees something in me. He gives his toughest battles to his toughest soldiers. There’s a reason he gave me this and I just try and push through the best I can. I hope I can be an inspiration to someone else.”

That, no doubt whatsoever, is a certainty.