Ten-year-old Logan Fraychineaud had always been told he could do what he set his mind on.
On Dec. 18, Logan knew what he had to do.
It’s the day the Ethel Schoeffner Elementary fourth-grader learned he was going to sign the National Anthem for the LSU vs. Clemson National Championship game in New Orleans. Logan appeared on the field with Lauren Daigle, who sang the anthem.
The Destrehan resident is considered deaf, but a cochlear implant done when he was 15 months old has made it possible for him to hear “almost everything,” said Leslie, his mother. “It’s made a big difference.”
So much so, that it brought him to performing at a championship game watched by millions of people.
If this isn’t amazing enough, there’s more.
“My son is like the sixth or seventh generation who is deaf in my family,” said his mother. “It’s genetic. For me, I was born deaf. That’s genetics and family history.”
Logan loves football. It’s his favorite sport, she said. He plays football, too. He attends regular classes at school, although he has a hearing impaired teacher who ensures he keeps pace with his classes.
The fourth-grader is bilingual because he talks and signs.
“If I need to order at a drive-through, he’ll interpret for me,” Leslie said.
The implant has proven incredible technology for a child whose parents chose the procedure because they didn’t want their son to feel excluded.
“Me and my husband wanted him to be more oral for his future,” she said. “We want him to be able to have total communication talking and signing.”
Both of Logan’s parents, Leslie and Richie, are deaf.
They knew firsthand what they wanted for their son in life, and being chosen to sign at the game is a milestone for Logan, as well as his family.
“I’m excited about it,” Leslie said.
It’s a major step into the world of the hearing. Both parents were at the game on the field watching their son perform in front of thousands of people.
In early November, Logan was invited students at the Deaf Action Center (DAC), where his parents have been clients for more than 30 years, to submit an audition video to sign for the National Anthem at the game. DAC provided the videos to the production company choosing entertainment for the National Championship.
“When we first asked if he wanted to tryout, he said ‘Yes,’” Leslie said. “He was excited. I told him it didn’t mean he was chosen. He practiced three days after school and we videoed it.”
A month later, the production company told DAC Director Shari Bernius that Logan might be too young to be selected. Richie advised Logan that he might not be chosen. But his mother said they got another call and this time he got the news – he’d been selected “because they were really impressed with his facial expressions.”
This was incredible news for the Destrehan couple because it was exactly what they had been working for with Logan to help him fit in and adapt to both worlds – the hearing and deaf.
After getting the news on Dec. 18, Richie practiced with his son nearly every day in anticipation of his Jan. 13 performance.
“When he found out he was picked he was crying and told all his friends and teachers he was chosen,” Leslie said. “We just want to make sure to do anything he wants to do and accomplish what he wants to.”
And at the game, Logan, as well as LSU, were winners.