MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) - “He may be little but his love for others is big.”
That’s how Lora Vance describes her son, Benjamin. He turned 4-years old last month in Morganton, and is one of nine children. (You read that correctly.) Ben also lives with a rare form of dwarfism called Hypochondroplasia.
“Ben has learning delays, seizures, and delayed cognitive skills,” Lora said. “He has shortened limbs, a limited range of motion in his elbow, back issues, bowed legs, and fatigue. He was also diagnosed with Chiari Malformation – I’ve read about other #MollysKids who live with that, too – and his most recent MRI shows other brain abnormalities.”
This little boy’s head and feet hurt daily, his mom says. Pain he has lived with since birth.
“My poor little fellow doesn’t know life without hurting,” she said. “But, he keeps on smiling.”
Ben celebrated a birthday last month, and successful brain surgery.
“We’re still in recovery," Lora said. "But we're happy with how things went.”
As you can imagine, Ben and his eight siblings have a busy life... and to make matters more difficult, last May, Lora received an unthinkable call.
“My husband, father to my nine kids, was critically injured at work,” she said. “He had a bad brain injury. Doctors now call him a ‘miracle.’ The past 18 months have been full of doctors’ appointments, hospitals and therapies for him, too.”
In a mental visual that might melt you, Lora says Ben hasn’t left his daddy’s side, pushing his father to do more every single day, even using little-boy language to explain to his father that he understands chronic pain.
Ben is our hero,” Lora said. “Seeing our son push through his own battles gives my husband the strength to do the same.”
Benjamin loves playing outside with all his siblings, riding trains, watching cartoons and baking in the kitchen. Lora calls is sweet.
“A one-of-a-kind life for him, and all of us.”
Happy belated birthday, Ben. Welcome to #MollysKids.
*Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.