Grandson Ben, 8-year-old miracle boy extraordinaire, is playing soccer this autumn after a year’s hiatus from the sport. Last year he opted not to play soccer and concentrated only on basketball and baseball. But he’s back on a local soccer team, enjoying it, and scoring goals!
We are so grateful that our little guy (who underwent three brain surgeries at ages 4 and 5) continues to love and excel in sports.
Please join our family in sending out healing thoughts and prayers for another little boy, named Levi, who has been in the hospital for almost three months now suffering from the same problem Ben had, arteriovenous malformation in the brain. Levi, who is 10 years old, unfortunately had no symptoms and was not diagnosed until he experienced a severe brain bleed. His condition was touch-and-go at first, but he is now doing much better, although the prognosis for full recovery is not good.
Ben’s indoor soccer team ended their Fall season a couple of weeks ago by playing the same team they were playing earlier in the season when Ben was hit in the nose and knocked to the floor by a soccer ball. We were worried then because our little guy has undergone three brain surgeries, but he wasn’t badly hurt, and thankfully, there were no injuries this time. (I posted previously about that injury here.)
The team celebrated their season with treats and trophies…
We were very happy to be able to attend this last game. Even though I was not feeling well, I was able to take some photos, and I put together this video…
An exciting time at an air show
Last weekend Ben’s parents took him to the Wings Over North Georgia air show. Even though he was not feeling well that day (it turned out that he had strep throat), he had a wonderful time. Not only was it exciting to watch the show, but he had fun climbing in a military helicopter and into the cockpit of a C-130 transport plane like the one on which his uncle flew while serving in the U.S. Air Force.
The highlight of the air show was seeing the Thunderbirds, the air demonstration squadron of the U.S. Air Force. The Thunderbirds Squadron tours the United States performing aerobatic formation and solo flying in specially marked aircraft. They take their name from the legendary Thunderbird that appears in the mythologies of several indigenous North American cultures.
Ben was lucky enough to have his photo made with two of the Thunderbird pilots…
A request for prayers and good thoughts
Please keep Ben’s other grandparents in your thoughts and prayers. They both are facing serious medical issues. They live closer to Ben than we do and have been so instrumental in his young life. He is not aware of how serious their medical conditions are.
Thanks to everyone who has asked about Ben recently. Please continue to send out good thoughts and prayers on his behalf.
It’s been a while since I posted an update on grandson Ben, and he’s doing great! In just a few months he will be returning to New York for his yearly checkup with Dr. B, and we are hoping for an excellent report.
In 2014, when he was only 4 years old, Ben had two operations to repair a dural AV fistula, a vascular malformation in his brain. It was a life threatening condition. A year later he was once again in a life threatening situation and underwent another operation. Since that time he has progressed well, excelling in kindergarten and playing sports with his doctor’s approval.
He has survived 100 days of kindergarten…
He wrapped up a season of basketball, coached by his dad and the fathers of two teammates…
His team, the Rockets celebrated with trophies and a cake…
And Ben lost his first front tooth…
Thanks to all of you who continue to keep Ben in your thoughts and prayers. As always, Soli Deo Gloria! #believing for ben
Although we weren’t able to make our annual family trip to the big pumpkin farm in the mountains this year, Ben’s kindergarten class took a field trip to a pumpkin patch in Adairsville, GA. He had a great time with his friends, and his mom was able to take the day off work and be there as well. So much fun!
Ben’s heroes are the police officers and fire fighters of New York City, and he decided to dress as a policeman for Halloween this year. Trick-or-treating occurred twice: once at his church which sponsored a trunk-or-treat event in the parking lot and the second time in his neighborhood with his special little neighbor friend who dressed as Rapunzel.
Ben and his sweet neighbor friend
Mom dressed as Wonder Woman for the event at church
The police officer and Rapunzel
Another treat: Disney on Ice!
A half-day school holiday proved to be another treat for Ben, as his parents surprised him with a trip to Chattanooga, TN for a performance of Disney on Ice. More autumn fun!
And, finally, a soccer trophy!
Soccer season is over, and Ben had so much fun playing on his first soccer team! We were able to be there for two matches and watch our little guy score several goals! His dad was the team coach and was able to keep an eye on him at all times. Weekly physical therapy has helped with the range of motion in Ben’s foot and leg, and he ran and kicked and scored with no problem.
That’s T-ball and soccer under his belt now. Next is basketball, which he also loves, and guess who the coach will be? Yes, his dad will be the basketball coach, too, and once again will keep an eye on our little trooper. Who ever thought Ben would play sports after three brain surgeries?
I wish we could have been there for Ben’s last game, but he did have a surprise fan there to cheer him on, his precious little friend from his neighborhood.
I put together a short Flipagram video (my first attempt at Flipagram) to celebrate our little miracle boy’s soccer experience. We are so proud of him.
“Five-year old Ben plays indoor soccer after undergoing 3 brain surgeries. Music is a soccer-themed song in French by the group Magic System.”
Last night our little guy was honored again by the Murray County High School (Georgia) football team during what may be their biggest game of the season. The team, who played their major rival, made Ben an honorary team captain for the night. He accompanied the actual team captains onto the field and participated in the coin toss that began the game. We were unable to be there, so his mom took these photos:
Even special transportation was provided
Conferring with the referee
Waiting on the sideline
Headed onto the field
Joining the team captains on the field
“Coin Toss Ben”
Posing with the cheerleaders
What a surprise to discover that the high school also devoted an entire page of their 2015-2016 football program booklet to Ben !
After 3 brain surgeries, Ben is playing soccer !
Every week, Ben goes to physical therapy to help with the range of motion on the left side of his body. Because the original fistula was on the left side of the brain his muscle development on that side, particularly in his leg and foot, have been affected.
But after getting an okay from his doctor in New York, Ben is playing on an indoor soccer team. The team is for children ages 4 to 6, and Ben is running and kicking the soccer ball with no difficulty at all. During his first game he scored a goal for his team ! My husband and I were able to attend one of his games a week ago:
A kind-hearted kindergartener
Ben’s school recently held an open house which his mom and dad attended. This is what they brought home:
Look closely at the last statement which says “If I had a million dollars I would give all of it to my neighbors.”
We are so proud of our kind-hearted little guy! And he has a favorite little neighbor. They are so sweet together…