Like many of you I was devastated when reader Tyler reached out and told me about his nephew Bensten. The six-year-old Caps fan was struck by a car while sledding and has been in a coma ever since. We asked you to post selfies with personal messages to contribute to the #Pray4BMan hashtag. Your kindness was so overwhelming that every local TV channel covered it this past weekend. Bensten’s family has been uplifted by the support during this tragedy.
And now I have some good news. I’m told Bensten has opened his eyes for the first time since the accident. He remains in critical condition, but it appears BMan is fighting hard to get through this. The family has given RMNB permission to share this update and the above photo.
Bensten’s uncle Tyler writes:
Today has been a positive and optimistic day for our Bman. As they continued to lower his sedation it has been an anxiety filled, but also an incredibly hopeful day. With Heather and Lance by his bedside, B opened his eyes and looked at them as they talked to him. Heather told Bensten about the hockey puck and Ovechkin stick, and he followed her with his eyes as she went to get the puck and then again when she went to get the stick! The periods of alertness are very brief and this was an emotional time for everyone.
While there is still a lot of uncertainty in what the next few days hold, spirits are high and there was even a mini-group hug with the uncles and Heather. The doctors also removed the bolt that was implanted into B’s head, which measured the inter-cranial pressure on his brain. He has an MRI tomorrow and with all of your thoughts and prayers, they will take more steps in the right direction. Please continue to pray, as the harder Bensten works to come out of his coma, the more frightened and confused he becomes. Heather and Lance’s heartstrings cannot endure much more- yet they cannot begin to express their gratitude to all of you. #pray4bman
He also wanted me to add this thank you.
Where to start? I guess with a personal thank you, to you and RMNB. We started the hashtag concept from my sister’s request for prayers and it has taken a life of its own, due to your post. We truly believe that prayers go a long way, and we will do anything to get our Bman back on his feet and cheering for the Caps. The last 8 days have been the hardest in my family’s life. In tragic situations such at this one, it is important to keep a positive perspective and draw the good out wherever you can. The good that we continue to rely upon has been the outpouring of support from this community. It has been astonishing. The way our town, and specifically the Washington Capitals have rallied around us has been incredible.
The message my family and I do want to convey is our sincere gratitude. I would try and give specific names of everyone who has reached out to us, but given the amount of sleep I have gotten, I would be sure to leave some off (and there are also too many to count). The notes, tweets, pictures, gestures all mean so much to my sister and brother-in-law. Wes Johnson taking time out of his Friday night to come deliver a game puck and Ovi stick to my sister and brother cut them to their core. We had never met Wes and the fact that he has taken such a supportive stance meant so much to us. It is a testament to his moral fiber and the fiber of this community. There have been many gestures just like Wes and each one of them brings a brief moment of joy/relief for my sister and our family and we cannot say thanks enough.
We are asking that the community continue to spread the hashtag like wildfire. Not only does it encourage prayers but it has created a wonderful distraction while we wait. Specifically, for B’s sisters. They have taken it upon themselves to print the tweets/pictures and are keeping a binder to show B the amazing outpouring of love when he wakes up.
Thank you Washington.
Thank you McLean.
Thank you first responders.
Thank you RMNB.
Thank you Capitals.
Here’s a few other photos I wanted to share.
— Ryan Bensten (@RBensten) February 1, 2015
— Regina Bensten (@reginabensten) February 4, 2015
Keep submitting your well wishes. I really want Bensten to pull through.
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