We’ve paid a lot of attention to Ben learning to walk. But what we haven’t talked much about is how Ben is learning how to eat. Just as his disability and countless surgeries caused him to not be able to sit up, those same issues caused him to have an aversion to the simple acts of chewing and swallowing. So much so that he had to have a feeding tube inserted into his stomach so we could give him the calories and nutrients he needed.
Take a moment to read a blog post we wrote in 2009 about the therapy Ben was receiving then to help him to eat. This blog post contained the following about Ben’s feeding therapist at the time, Mary Lou Kennedy:
I often say Ben’s life was literally saved THREE separate times. The first at birth, thanks to the doctor’s who had already diagnosed Ben’s heart defect and were ready at birth to repair his heart. The second when his heart stopped at 2 in the morning after his last heart surgery and was restarted promptly, thanks to a nurse who was at his bedside. The third is when we found Mary Lou Kennedy. Benjamin’s condition wasn’t critical, but it was definitely life threatening.
The feeding tube is a thing of the past, and his eating continues to improve. Watch this video of Ben eating birthday cake on Diane’s birthday. Ben continues to receive therapy on learning how to use a spoon, find his mouth, and chew and swallow. We dream of a day when Ben will be able to eat a hot dog, but for now we’ll take eating mashed up pineapple upside down cake (with a big helping of Reddi Whip)!