While the Caps won a hockey game tonight, something else more important happened: Bensten Schone returned to Verizon Center after his tragic accident last January.
While sledding, the six-year-old Bensten accidentally went into the road and was struck by a car. He was taken to the hospital where he stayed in a coma for nearly two weeks. The RMNB community and, later, the entire Caps community, responded, getting behind the hashtag #pray4bman, where individuals posted selfies with hand-written well wishes. Eventually, Bensten pulled through and even sent the team motivational videos during the playoffs.
“He’s working really hard, really really hard and doing really really well,” his mother Heather told RMNB’s Chris Gordon. Bensten goes to Churchill Road Elementary School in Fairfax County, where he receives individualized teaching to help get him back to where he was before the accident.
Saturday night, Bensten watched the Caps beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. It was not actually his first time back at Verizon Center since the accident. His father Lance covertly took him to a preseason game against New York Islanders.
“It just gave him confidence because he was really nervous,” Lance said. “He did great and had a good time.”
After the trial run, Bensten was ready to enter the spotlight as the Capitals honored his recovery.
“We just thought we were gonna get some tickets to the game,” Bensten’s father Lance said. It turns they got a lot more than that.
“We had no idea there were going to do everything that they did,” Heather said.
BMan watched warm-ups, where Tom Wilson gave him a puck towards the end.
A photo posted by Monumental Network (@monumentalntwrk) on
He did the pre-game introductions with Caps PA Announcer, Wes Johnson.
He met Caps anthem singer Caleb Green.
A photo posted by Wes Johnson (@wesjohnson) on
Though the Capitals provided his extended family with a suite to take in the game, Bensten joined Ted Leonsis in the Owner’s Box and got an adorable, Greek man hug. Leonsis also provided BMan with an endless supply of gummy bears. “I got a stomach ache,” Bensten told Chris.
BMan meets Ted Leonsis to watch #CapsCanes from the owners box…. While #RockingTheRed A photo posted by Washington Capitals (@washingtoncaps) on
Ted was very impressed with the young man.
Great meeting BMan tonight. A special young man. https://t.co/3Md6kxIWQ1
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) October 18, 2015
The Caps put him on the big screen and he received a standing ovation. Look how happy he is.
He joined the Caps in the locker room after the game to celebrate the win.
He first met Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson.
He was reunited with Tom Wilson, who was one of the first Caps to get behind the #pray4bman hashtag.
On top of the puck from pregame warm-ups, Willy also gave Bensten the stick he played with Saturday night.
And a hug.
The Captain came over to say hi.
And gave him a fist bump.
BMan got a bit star struck by TJ Oshie.
Oshie signed BMan’s #1 Caps jersey.
Bensten also met Barry Trotz. “You’re an A-lister!” Trotz said to BMan.
What a beautiful family.
“Everyone has been so supportive and such a class act,” Lance said of the Capitals organization.
“They’re really awesome,” added BMan.
Additional reporting and photos by Chris Gordon
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