Six days ago, Bensten opened his eyes for the first time since his accident. On Thursday, to the surprise of everyone, little B-man spoke– and he even laughed a little. Bensten’s uncle Tyler called it a miracle.
At his bedside, Bensten’s mother Heather played for her son the video the Capitals had made for him. You can see his reaction below. Warning: This is going to be emotional.
Watch Bensten perk up when he sees Wes Johnson. Watch the six-year-old squirm in happiness when Bruce Anderson, the Verizon Center organist, plays him a song. Watch him starstruck when Mike Green appear onscreen.
At the end, Bensten says, softly, “Thanks, Caps.”
I admit: when I saw this, I sobbed. Bensten feels like family now, just as I’m sure he feels like family to all of you.
Even though B-man still has a long road of recovery ahead of him, this feels like a fairytale ending in some ways.
Here’s the family’s full update from today.
Wow- what a day. Bensten started the day off by shocking us all when he used words. Among the first was when the speech pathologist came in and asked him which parent he wanted to help him and his response was “both.” It sounded too good to be true, but over the course of several hours, he said names, “thank you” and was smiling and laughing. It was the most amazing morning ever.
The trip to NRH wore him out, so he has been somewhat tranquil – aside from when he pulled out his feeding tube. Just making sure we keep the new nurses on their toes!
By mid next week they will tell us how long they think he will need to be in rehab. Lance (Bensten’s father) is staying the night with him- and we hope to get the family involved in his rehab in the very near future.
Wait, one last thing, Bensten has something he wants to tell you guys.
A personal note: When I started RMNB with Peter five years ago, I secretly hoped it might do well. Not because I sought celebrity, not because I wanted money, and not because I wanted to spew hot takes (though that’s fun), but because I wanted to inspire others to fall in love with a team and a sport I love so dearly. I wanted to give back to a community that has given me so much.
What you did with your well-wishes and the #Pray4BMan hashtag have lifted up a family struggling through the hardest time in their lives. It gave them hope when they had none. You made a real difference in their lives. Bensten’s family are sharing these private, emotional moments with you because you, in a way, are part of their extended family now.
Thank you. Stuff like this proves that hockey is a lot more than just a silly sport.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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