Every once in awhile, I really feel grateful for all of the help and support for Ben. Even though Ben is now out of the woods as far as his health goes, the donations have meant a lot as we struggle to keep afloat. So, thank you.
Ben is doing well. He's off on break from high school, and even though his ACT shows that he lost a lot of his memories in the accident, he has managed to keep a 4.0 GPA this past year.
Ben has decided to go into medicine, and in two weeks he will be heading back to school in the mornings to begin work studying to be a pharmacist. It will be a long, hard program, but he's very excited. He's conquered a lot in life already, so I suspect that he can handle this.
Ben is home now and still recovering well from his accident. As many of his doctors have said, his recovery has been pretty miraculous.
Last month, Ben took a part-time job working at McDonalds. He has a pretty easy schedule as he returned to high school, but we worried that he wouldn't make it, and for a couple of weeks he wanted to drop out and start going online.
However, Ben dug in hard for the last month or so of school and managed to get a 4.0 GPA.
Ben recently decided that he would like to become an orthodonist, so he has set up a harder course of study beginning this next semester, with classes in biology and medical terminology.
We're still digging out from under mountains of medical bills, of course, and probably will be for years, so I want to thank you for your help.
Recently, we were able to get health insurance for the family, in hopes that we won't have this problem again.
Ben is home in Saint George now, where he is going to physical therapy each day, working on improving his coordination and strength. He is also getting speech therapy, where he works on learning to speak more clearly and is doing "brain puzzles" and games to help build his cognitive skills. Thank you to all of those who help in his recovery.
Ben has now been moved home, where he is working on physical therapy, speech therapy, and so on. We still have a long way to go until he is completely recovered, and the medical bills keep rolling in. We estimate right now that they are at about $1.3 million.
Ben has now been moved to the Primary Children's Medical Center to begin rehabilitation. He still must re-learn to swallow before he can drink fluids, and he is having trouble with dizziness, headaches, balance, word association, and logic skills. Right now, we don't know how long he will remain in the hospital for rehabilitation, or how soon he may go to outpatient services. The doctors will need some time to reattach the pieces of skull that are currently stored in his stomach, and of course there will be lots of work to do in the way of exercise.
It has been exactly four weeks since Ben's longboarding accident.
To tell the truth, I thought on Sunday that we might be holding his funeral soon, but on Tuesday he had turned the corner, and is suddenly doing better than ever. He was able to sit up again, and Mary says that he is antsy to get out of the bed.
This morning he was able to say his first words since the accident. Mary asked him to repeat the names of two of his nurses, and he was able to say "Sasha" and "Monica." She says that he is talking very softly, but was able to utter single words.
That's really huge. Most of the damage from his concussion came to his speech centers, so we have been wondering what words he understands, and how well he might be able to formulate words.
I'm still stuck at home, sick with a sinus infection, and I don't seem to be getting any better. I think I may call and see about getting a different antibiotic.
So, they say that with traumatic brain injuries, for every two steps forward, you take one step backward. Yesterday, I felt very down. As our nurse had said, if Ben was aspirating from pneumonia, he's at "square one" all over again. It didn't feel like one step back, it felt like five.
Then Ben came out and had a tremendous afternoon. He woke up this morning and was alert. Mary send a video of him struggling to sit up in his hospital bed. There's a lot of kicking and flailing, like a professional wrestler struggling in the bout of his life. I've never seen anyone work so hard. I was so proud of Ben. He did manage to sit up today for the first time.
So Ben went from five steps back to ten step forward today. I'm hoping that he will keep improving and that we can get him into a rehab facility soon. It's obvious that he wants out of that hospital.
Mary also asked Ben to smile for the camera today, and Ben smiled for the first time in 28 days. (It may have been much more than 28 days. Ben is a teenager after all.) As smiles go, it's one of the crummiest efforts I've ever seen, but I'll cherish this one.
Ben Wolverton, age 16, was in a tragic longboarding accident on April 3rd, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drums, road rash, and pneumonia. He was in a coma, but has recently awakened. His family has no insurance.
Ben's treatments are already over $1,000,0000. Ben will need extensive therapy as he relearns how to walk. Please consider donating money to his cause. Learn more at www.HelpWolverton.com
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