From the family of Ben Leclair- In the past few weeks Ben has progressed quite well. His tracheotomy tube was removed as well as his feeding tube which means Ben is now eating and breathing free of any hospital aid. Last week Ben was also moved from the ICU down to a standard hospital room where the doctors have been monitoring Ben’s health to make the determination of when he will be able to start the rehabilitation process. And the good news is this: Ben has been approved and has now officially begun the rehabilitation process.
Ben’s first day of rehab was Tuesday December 20th, taking place at a live-in rehab center in Montreal where Ben will be working with specialist from 8AM – 4PM Monday – Thursday. The initial estimated timeline for this 1st stage of rehabilitation is 4-6 months. From there the families hope to send Ben down to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia – A world renowned Spinal Injury Rehabilitation center attended by both Christopher Reeve and fellow wakeboarder Brad Smeele. It’s simply the best, and for Ben it is our #1 goal to get him there. The majority of the funds raised in Ben’s Road 2 Recovery fund will be directed towards this goal. Costs for Shepard’s rehabilitation are high, but for Ben it’s worth every penny. Ben will also be applying for clinical trial with stem cells which could improve his recovery. The flight alone to Shepards can cost over $30,000, not to mention several thousand / day – hence our goal of $250k. As it stands currently Ben is continuing to gain more and more movement in his right arm. His left arm is slower to respond but specialists say that his muscles and nerves are responding when he sends the message so we look forward to more progress each day. As for Ben’s legs, while he has yet to move them on his own he says he has feeling in his feet which we are hoping will continue to spread and progress.
We would like to once again thank the #Bensquad for all of the love and support! Between the Orlando Silent Auction Fundraiser and The Birdies for Ben golf tournament we have raised close to $14K additional dollars for Ben’s rehab / equipment costs and we look forward to much more. Ben is also excited about the new custom #BenSquad board which Slingshot released last week. There are 5 still available for sale with all proceeds going straight to the R2R fund. If you would like to buy the board it is available here: http://www.slingshotsports.com/Ben-Leclair-Custom#.WF2khrGZPgF and for international shoppers you can purchase by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all and we look forward to sharing more news with you as Ben continues to progress!
From the family of Ben Leclair- We find ourselves torn as we write these updates, in a hard place between staying positive and of course the unfortunate reality of Ben’s injury. We fear that our positivity and excitement over the simple things like Ben’s sense of humor or mental well being may lead people to believe that everything is just fine or that Ben is expected to make a full recovery. The reality is we really don’t know what the future will hold for Ben. As of now he is not able to control his hands or anything below his waist. All we know is that he is a fighter and ready to do everything it takes and more to get back to a normal life. His attitude has been extremely positive in the past week and he has come back to a stable mental condition which is a huge victory because often times the injury that Ben suffered in the accident can lead to brain damage.
In the last few days Ben’s family has been in contact with a representative of their Canadian health care program who has been persistent about the urgency for Ben to return back home to Montreal where he can be looked after more efficiently and with less burden of insurance complications / compiling medical bills. On Saturday morning the Doctor agreed that Ben was stable enough to make the flight, so he and the family boarded a private “air ambulance” in Orlando to make the journey back home to Montreal where Ben has been admitted to another Intensive Care Unit for his continued care. Ben is still breathing with the aid of a respirator which Doctors expect he should be free of within the next week. At that point they will be able to make a determination of the most appropriate rehabilitation process / location for Ben. We are hopeful that as the swelling continues to recede from around Ben’s spine (which is said to take up to 4 weeks) that we will have a clearer understanding of what level of movement and feeling will be possible for Ben to achieve through this long and challenging rehabilitation process. We look at Ben’s face and all the sure signs of progress and we are convinced that if there is a way back to his feet, Ben will find it no doubt, but he needs our help. Please continue to do what you can and help spread the word about the #BenSquad. We will be announcing new products and additional ways to help support Ben’s cause in the coming days…Stay tuned.
These pictures are to help show Ben’s family, friends, and fans the reality of his condition. They are in order and show the progression of his injury and the transportation process from Orlando to Montreal. If you would like to donate to Ben’s Road 2 Recovery please do so here. You can leave positive messages to Ben below and remember when posting on social sites please use the #BenSquad to show your support.
New update from the family in Florida! 12/1/16 – This morning Doctor’s went through with Ben’s 2nd surgery to further stabilize his spine and after 2 hours of operating time they were pleased with the result, so at this time no further operations are required! Ben returned to his hospital room mid day and has been impressively alert since. There is still a large amount of swelling surrounding Ben’s spinal cord that we are told takes several weeks to recede. We are extremely hopeful that as these next few weeks pass Ben will progress and regain as much feeling as possible. At this point Ben is able to move his head and shoulders and seems to be progressively getting more movement down into his arms.
In addition, we are happy to say that Ben has quickly adjusted to a new breathing technique after yesterday’s tracheotomy procedure (relocating the respirator tube from his mouth to his throat through a small incision). While he is experiencing pain and soreness from the incision he is clearly relieved with the new level of comfort that this procedure has brought. In the afternoon hours Ben was able to breathe consistently for a total time period of 2 hours without the aid of the respirator which is another huge step in his recovery.
Communication is also becoming easier as his mouth is free of the respirator tube. Nurses have been trying to get Ben to work with a tablet device that reads your eyes / gaze and allows you to type on a keyboard simply by looking at letters (since Ben’s voice has not yet returned), but this process has been a bit frustrating for Ben and he seems to prefer mouthing his communications as we are getting better and better at reading his lips.
We are hopeful that the next few days will continue to show signs of progression and hope for a strong recovery from this traumatic injury. Tomorrow marks 1 week from Ben’s injury and his progression from then to today is certainly impressive. Ben still has a long way to go as we are beginning to talk more seriously with the doctors and our friends at Road2Recovery about his rehabilitation options. That’s all for now.
Again, thank you so much for all the love, support, and donations to the #BenSquad.
San Diego news station CBS8 and reporter Ashley Jacobs helped to bring awareness to Ben’s recovery on this weeks news broadcast. Below is a clip of her broadcast.
CLICK HERE TO SEE BROADCAST
Ben is showing sure signs of progress in the past days. He has been sleeping well and spending more time alert and awake. He is starting to ask many questions (we are only understanding these communications through lip reading and light whispers from Ben so far) and his memory / understanding of the accident seems to be quite clear.
Ben was due for a 2nd surgery yesterday morning to further repair and stabilize the spine but this required Ben to be rolled over face down for an extended period which doctors determined to be unsafe as they discovered fluid in his lungs which was putting severe stress on his breathing when Ben was flipped. This surgery has been rescheduled for tomorrow as nurses have been hard at work to remove the fluid from Ben’s lungs.
On a more positive note, today Ben received a tracheotomy to relocate the respirator tube from his mouth down to his throat. Ben expressed lots of excitement for this procedure as the respirator by way of mouth had been extremely discomforting.
Ben is also showing more signs of movement in his shoulders and arms which is great news. We are hopeful that we will continue to see more progress and certainly know more details of Ben’s condition after this next operation.
Close friends of Ben are hard at work between visits to help organize a fundraising party to be held sometime next week (we will give an update with further details soon). Thank you so much for supporting Ben and his journey back to health. The donations thus far are much appreciated and there is still a long road ahead so please do what you can to keep the support strong and help spread the word with the hashtag #BenSquad
On Friday, November 25, 2016, professional wakeboard athlete, Ben Leclair was injured while practicing at a private wakeboard facility. A trick got away from him and he was rendered unconscious for a short time. Thankfully his friends acted swiftly and Ben was immediately transported to an Orlando area trauma center where he was admitted into surgery just a few short hours later.
Tomorrow morning Ben will undergo a second surgery to further stabilize his vertebrae and protect his spinal cord from any further damage. Doctors are reporting that there was a pinch around the C5 area of his spinal cord at the time of injury.
Spinal cord injuries affect every individual different. We know that Ben is an amazing athlete who understands his body better than most. He no doubt has a fight ahead of him but the support of his friends, family and Road 2 Recovery will give him every opportunity to recover.
While Ben’s insurance coverage is currently being investigated his expenses in the hospital continue to compound. At this time there is a plan to transport him back to Quebec after doctors can approve him for travel. Road 2 Recovery will be assisting the family in finding he best possible care for this injury.
Please continue to donate at https://road2recovery.com/cause-view/ben-leclair/ and be sure to leave a positive comment for Ben to review. Also check out the fundraiser by UNIT Parktech where you can pick up #bensquad sticker packs. Unit Parktech will also donate 1 Euro on behalf of every order sticker pack sold.
French Canadian wakeboard professional, Ben Leclair, has suffered a severe injury to his spinal cord. At Road 2 Recovery we know this fight all to well. We understand the challenges and we have set up this fundraising page to assist him and his family with their journey ahead. Already Ben has shown his strength and the doctors are looking to get his oxygen levels up so they can remove the breathing tube from his mouth.
Road 2 Recovery has forwarded medication information and will be giving the family ammo they need to be a step ahead of this injury. His close friends are at his side as well as his parents and sister. Any support can make a difference. Thank you for your consideration. More updates to follow.
When showing your support for Ben please use the hashtag #BenSquad