Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Unable to see but her vision is clear - Tracy Ann Logan’s testimony - Pt1

Published:Saturday | August 4, 2018 | 12:13 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Tracy Ann Logan

Mandeville, Manchester:

Picture a woman climbing the corporate ladder steadily, adding the final touches to her master's degree, in the process of starting her doctoral studies, and holding down a job she is passionate about while cementing the groundwork for her very own business, then going blind and crippled.

What? How? Why? Questions many would ask and have asked, but not the formidable force that is 40-year-old Tracy Ann Logan.

After being diagnosed with the rare nervous condition called neuromyelitis optica, which affects mainly the eyes and spinal cord, Logan said she never questioned why it happened to her or thought to throw a pity party.

 

Lessons

 

Instead, she said she thought about the lessons God wanted her to learn as she accepted her fate.

"Neuromyelitis is like an inflammation of the spine, and as it goes down the spinal column, whichever areas those nerves function on, those areas get debilitated. First, I lost my eyesight, then I was crippled on my right side, and then the entire body.

"Everything started happening in 2009. I was driving down to St Elizabeth from Portmore, heading to one of the sites early one morning because I used to work at the Coconut Industry Board. The police stopped me, and I was wondering how I didn't see them," she added.

Logan said that she took off her tested glasses and placed one hand over one eye, and saw a fog through her line of vision. She told the persons she was travelling with that she seemed to be going blind, but no one really could believe.

"I called my ophthalmologist, and I told him that I was going blind. When I went to see him, he did a vision-field test and realised that a light was penetrating through the area I had told him. I was then sent to a specialised ophthalmologist. I did an MRI, and I was sent to a neurologist."

 

Rapid Aggressive Inflammation

 

Due to the rapid aggressive inflammation, Logan had to be placed on high doses of steroids. She returned to work but later had to leave because she realised her condition was not getting better.

"I just started packing up my things. I cleaned up my office, and I told the guys who worked with me that I was ill and that they should wear happy colours to my funeral - and they were so upset," she said, laughing. "I wasn't despondent at any point in time. I eventually became fully blind very fast, and everything started to get worse."

Later, Logan became crippled, unable to do anything for herself, making more trips to the hospital and taking heavier doses of steroids.

But she was bent on beating the disease, and soon, through different treatments, parts of her body became fully functional, which has allowed her to be up and doing daily chores and even going to the market on her own.

The very spiritual Logan, with only three per cent vision, is an inspiration to many, and has plans to make this world a better place.

Next week, we share with you more of her story and the plans she hopes to put in place for a better life for herself and those with disabilities, particularly the blind.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com