Important Note: To all reporters/journalists/anyone affiliated with the media and news outlets, please note that Ben's family have asked for privacy and space during this time. They are already going through a great deal and I would hate to cause them more stress. Not to mention there were some factual errors in this page and I have since amended them. I understand you are just trying to do your job and support the cause but I am simply trying to respect the wishes of the family. I would ask you reconsider publishing any articles or stories for now as we wait for further results on Ben's condition. Again, I can't stress this enough, it was a direct request of the family to not be mentioned on the news so please consider holding things off til at least a later date. Thanks, Kieran.
Yesterday, on the 25th of October 2014, a close friend of mine, Ben Phillips, suffered a brain bleed on the left side of his brain while he was out diving with some members of his family (Please note the bleeding itself was unavoidable, and not brought on by the diving - it could have happened at any time during any activity, or not happened at all). In the time that has passed since that moment, a great deal of things have happened. One of which was Ben's high school graduation. The class of 2014 at our school held their graduation ceremony without Ben there, and it was heartbreaking. Not four hours since we had been next to him in hospital were we stepping onto stage to receive our certificates and awards, and Ben's name was called more than once. The ceremony and valedictory dinner were both held in celebration of the past year, but also in celebration of the lovable character that everyone in our class has gotten to know so well in that time.
While we were graduating, Ben was being flown down to Charles Gardiner hospital in critical condition. The youngest of 3 in a family well known within our community, the outpouring of support, thoughts and prayers to them has been phenomenal. Since he arrived, he has undergone risky surgery in order to remove a clot from his brain. Paraphrased from Ben's oldest brother's facebook:
"Initial impressions of the bleed lead the neurosurgeon to believe there wasn't a lot which could be done, as the size of the bleed was particularly severe. However, upon being able to check him in Perth, the fact that he had movement in his legs and arms - particularly on the same side as the clot - convinced him that operating was worth the risk. The operation to remove the clot, and reduce the blood went smoothly, and further blood has been drained out over time. However, there is considerable swelling in Ben's brain and as such at this current moment, Ben's life still hangs in the balance. Over the course of the next 24-48 hours doctors and nurses will be monitoring brain pressure and seeing how he reacts to the surgery."
The road is to recovery is still a long one, and there is much more ground to be covered, but we are hopeful. Ben is a fighter. Unfortunately, there is only so much that well wishes, thoughts and prayers can do in times like these. The fact of the matter is that these things are going to cost financially. Travel expenses, accommodation and procedural costs will all continue to be incurred, and expenses are expected to rise further the longer this all takes, from the current situation into the prospective rehabilitation process. To be straightforward about it, the Phillips' family would likely benefit greatly from financial aid, and as classmates and close friends of Ben's we're trying our best to find ways of supplying that aid. Ben performing with his Dad, Simon.
Ben has brought joy to everyone he's met so far, he is a great musician and always finds ways to make us laugh. As a class, this past year would not have been the same without him. We want nothing more than to have him back with us. 17 is too young to be experiencing such a tragic event, and his bright future shouldn't be extinguished so soon. My hope is that you might consider helping Ben and his family with their growing expenses. Any donation at all is greatly appreciated, and regular updates will be posted at the discretion of his family. Thankyou all for reading and I hope to bring good news soon. Please share this with others that know Ben and may be willing to help. God bless.
- KieranPS, if you would prefer to send physical donations to the family directly, rather than electronically, please contact me and I will attempt to organise a way to make that possible. Also currently in the process of organising alternative methods of donation such as BPay and Paypal. Thanks again for your support.#ForBen