MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — They’re twin brothers, juniors in high school, and their family has seen much from the time the two were born.
It’s game night for St. Croix Lutheran’s basketball team, and the team is enjoying a successful season.
“It’s really fun,” Owen Bushaw, 16, said. “The way out team is set up, we’re all just best friends, like in school, out of school, in basketball and out of basketball.”
Owen’s twin brother Logan attends all of the games. He does not play on the team, but he is indisputably part of the team.
“I get really intense watching the games. He can vouch for me on that one. I’m friends with all of the guys too. I join all them after the games,” Logan said.
The fact that Logan is at the games at all is amazing, if you backtrack to before they were born.
“The doctors suggested that we consider selective reduction to give one baby more of a chance, and that was never an option for us,” their mother Natalie Bushaw said.
Seeing the pregnancy through, the family was blessed with two boys, but they knew Logan would have challenges.
“Single-ventricle heart, or basically half of a heart. We knew that he would require a few surgeries, and we knew that at some point this half of a heart that he had would kind of start to tinker out,” Natalie said.
At age 13, Logan received a heart transplant.
“It was kind of a new process for me,” Logan said. “I just started looking at things differently.”
As did his family, learning a valuable life lesson.
“Take every day and just enjoy it. Because there are ups and downs through our journey,” father Ben Bushaw said.
It was a lesson that became even more important when, at 16, Logan was diagnosed with needing a second heart transplant. On Dec. 21, 2019, they got the call.
“She said, ‘You’re not going to believe it. We have what we really think is the perfect heart for Logan.’ And I was pretty shocked. I didn’t know what to say,” Natalie said.
The next day, they performed surgery and Lance woke up with his third heart.
“You think differently. Like you’ve got a new opportunity at life, so why not make the most of it every day?” Logan said.
Thus began another period of recovery, helped by basketball. Ben Bushaw gave up his varsity coaching job at Simley High School this season to watch his son play, and see his sons grow.
“To see the relationships the guys build together is so important, especially at this age,” Ben said.
Owen isn’t just playing the game, he’s playing for his brother Logan. What they’ve learned in this journey is much, through uncertainty there is somehow a sense of peace.
“We’ve always had a strong faith, but I don’t know if I knew how strong our faith could be. And it isn’t a matter of getting angry. It’s a matter of really being able to see the joy and find the joy or the blessings,” Natalie said.
What is obvious is what a bond really means between twin brothers who grow up together, who live life together, who understand each other.
“When it comes to it, he’s always there for me. Like when I needed anyone the most, he’s always there. So just the fact that he’s always there when sometimes other people aren’t able to just really makes everything better,” Logan said. “Definitely blessed. My family and the Lord have blessed me with so much to be thankful for. And I try to live that every day, whether it’s a good day or a bad day, because we all have blessings, but we all have bad days. So why not take the good into account more?”
And what they’ve learned is that people care, a lot. And that matters a lot.
“Part of why we have this … is because of how many people care for and love and pray for these boys that we have,” Natalie said. “It’s been really amazing.”
Feb. 14 is National Donor Day, and Owen scored 22 points Friday in a loss to Holy Angels.