For those who don’t know him, Logan Morse is an ordinary 9-year-old boy. He attends school at St. Joseph in Cold Spring, enjoys reading, swims at the YMCA, rides his bike, watches videos on the computer and has a passion for art.

Unlike most boys his age, he is preparing to undergo his fifth heart surgery.

Logan suffers from a complex congenital heart defect; he was born with only one heart chamber. Congenital heart defects affect eight of every 1,000 newborns and are the most common type of birth defect in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

He underwent his first surgery three days after being born and has had numerous procedures since. His last surgery included the implantation of a mechanical valve. His upcoming surgery will remove a blockage from underneath his aortic artery.

“I’m kind of used to all of it by now,” says Logan, who is well-informed of his condition. “But I’m still a little nervous.”

The latest surgery came as a shock to Logan’s great aunt, Mary Jo Watkins, who has had custody of Logan since he was 2 years old and is in the process of adopting him.

“I was so excited because he had grown and gained weight, which is a good thing…then when the doctor said he needed surgery, I couldn’t believe it,” Watkins explained.

Watkins fears this surgery will be Logan’s most strenuous to date and the further development of his nervous system will make recovery more painful. She knows Logan is scared, but refers to him as “a trooper.”

Watkins isn’t the only one impressed by Logan’s attitude and outlook on life. Cyndi Mendell, owner and operator of The Children’s Art Academy in Fort Thomas, has been teaching Logan art for nearly two years and describes him as “incredible” and “enthusiastic about everything.”

“The academy is my favorite place to go because I like drawing people and making things,” says Logan.

Mendell says kids always inspire her, but Logan is “number one” and even inspires the other students at the academy.

One day at the academy, Mendell noticed Logan drumming on the floor and chairs with two empty paper towel rolls. She was impressed with Logan’s rhythm and encouraged him to keep drumming.

The next Friday evening, while out with her husband, Mendell asked friend and drummer Bob Eubanks of the Strange Brew Band where she could purchase drum sticks for Logan. After hearing Logan’s story Eubanks decided to give Logan a pair of his own. When Mendell gave Logan the drumsticks the next day he said it was “the most exciting thing of his whole life,” and proceeded to design his own drum to play.

Mendell threw him a party in hopes of raising his spirits. The party included games, treats, close to 50 guests including Eubanks, and the gift of an electronic drum set.

The community support was “quite overwhelming,” says Watkins. “He has a lot of support coming in, so many people showing support to a child that most don’t even know. It has really helped him a lot.”

Logan will be granted a wish from the Make A Wish foundation following recovery from his surgery, a loving gesture for a child who has touched the hearts of so many.