Since Islamorada charterboat skipper Nick Stanczyk earned his captain’s license 11 years ago, he has led clients to numerous swordfish and other trophy gamefish catches off the Florida Keys.

Logan Prickett cranks on an electric-assist fishing reel endeavoring to catch a swordfish off the Florida Keys near Islamorada, (Photo by Nick Stanczyk)

Logan Prickett cranks on an electric-assist fishing reel endeavoring to catch a swordfish off the Florida Keys near Islamorada. (Photo by Nick Stanczyk)

But the 29-year-old captain never wanted to find a swordfish for a client more than he did recently for Logan Prickett of Montgomery, Ala.

Now 19 years old, Logan is legally blind and has been confined to a wheelchair since 2008. In September of that year, he had an almost fatal reaction to intravenous contrast dye administered during a routine MRI test to examine his pituitary gland.

He was without a natural heartbeat and breath for 45 minutes, and doctors told his mother Tammy Prickett he would not survive. But he did — and subsequently proved doctors wrong again when he emerged from a 12-day coma, his mother said.

Despite having significant motor-control deficits and not being able to speak above a whisper, Logan endured more than three years of physical and occupational therapy. He recently graduated in the top 10 of his magnet high school class and continues rehabilitation at home

Before the life-changing medical incident, Logan enjoyed the outdoor world of hunting and fishing. Afterward, his chances of experiencing that again seemed slim.

A swordfish leaps after being hooked off Islamorada. (Photo by Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau)

A swordfish leaps after being hooked off Islamorada. (Photo by Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau)

But during the last few years, his mother has seen her son overcome obstacles that neither of them ever envisioned.

A new opportunity arose when Logan’s neighbor and classmate, Hunter Mills, was exploring online and discovered an episode of the 2013 Weather Channel television mini-series called Reel Rivals.

The show chronicled the daily competitive lives of four charterboat fishing captains at Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada.

The segment Hunter found focused on swordfishing off the Keys. He watched it with Logan, explaining the visuals to his friend.

And so earlier this year, when Tammy Prickett began discussing a post-high school graduation trip, both teens immediately told her, “We want to go to the ‘Sportfishing Capital of the World’ to catch a swordfish.”

They chartered Nick Stanczyk, skipper of the Bn’M2. On May 30, their first day of fishing, they lost two swordfish.

“We were heartbroken,” Nick said. “Logan sat in the blazing sun for six hours next to that swordfish rod and reel and never complained.”

But the following day proved to be very different. The first swordfish that was hooked stayed on the line — as Logan, using an electric-assist reel, helped crank the 105-pounder to the boat with the rod and reel in the boat’s rod holder.

Nick Stanczyk said that when the fish was boated, Logan methodically ran his hand along the fish’s tail and bill.

Logan Prickett (center) flanked by mate Colby Mason (left) and Captain Nick Stanczyk, show off the 105-pound swordfish Logan reeled in. (Photo by Nick Stanczyk)

Logan Prickett (center), mate Colby Mason (left) and Captain Nick Stanczyk show off the 105-pound swordfish Logan reeled in. (Photo by Nick Stanczyk)

“Logan had the biggest smile of anyone I’ve ever seen,” stated Nick. “I cried. It’s the happiest I’ve ever felt for someone catching a fish.”

Nick reported that the Prickett family commissioned a reproduction mount and there will be plenty of swordfish steaks for a very large dinner party in Montgomery.

Later that same day Logan reeled in a second swordfish, but the small 40-pounder was released.

Tammy Prickett is getting used to her son fulfilling dreams and objectives.

“He wants to overcome as much as he can and prove to himself that he can,” she said of her son, who will study at Auburn University in the fall. “It shows to other people that we don’t have to let our circumstances be limited.”

It certainly does. Heartfelt congratulations to Logan for his triumphant swordfish catch — and the other triumphs he achieves as he continues to prove that life can be lived without limits.

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