Students raise $4,600 for injured classmate

By The Associated Press

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) — First-graders at Doyle Elementary School raised $4,600 to help an injured classmate get the therapy he needs.

Logan Watts injured his brain falling from a tree swing at his family’s camp in Mississippi last May. He’s now deaf in one ear, uses a walker and has had several operations and lots of rehabilitation.

He’s going to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and will stay there for weeks of therapy designed to make him use and strengthen his weakened left arm.

The therapy costs $8,000, plus food, lodging and travel, Logan’s mother, Britany Watts, told The Daily Star.

Logan’s class started a school fundraiser. Students paid $2 each to wear blue jeans and a yellow shirt — Logan’s favorite color — to school on March 27. The school, which has 650 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, held a rally on Logan’s sixth birthday to give him the money.

“Logan is a very special student to our school. In kindergarten he was always willing to help others in his class and to do the right thing, so the students wanted to do what they could to help him. And as you can see by the money raised, the response to help Logan has been overwhelming,” Principal Donna Sibley said.

Sibley said the yellow shirt day brought in thousands of dollars, including several donations of much more than $2.

Watts and her husband, Jonathan Watts, said their faith has allowed them to remain steadfast in their hope of their son’s recovery.

Logan goes to the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Center’s Outpatient Pediatric Clinic three times a week for occupational, physical and speech therapy sessions, his mother said. He also works with therapists from the Livingston Parish School System each week for more therapy. A public school teacher comes to his house twice a week to do his first-grade-level classwork at home.

Britany Watts said her son’s speech is improving each day and he has regained strength in his right arm, but doctors say he needs constraint-induced therapy to improve use of his left arm. His right arm will be restrained almost 24 hours a day to make him use the other, and he will have hours of therapy a day on the left arm.

“This donation from the school is such a blessing to Logan and our family. We are so grateful to everyone who gave,” she said.