Benny Made it…Bye Bye Philadelphia

(Written on Sunday – not able to update due to lack of internet access – sorry!)

Sunday, August 26

We are so proud of Benny.  He did an amazing job thru this last treatment in CHOP.   We B”H were discharged from the hospital Shabbos afternoon.  The Bikur Cholim apartment was only a few blocks away from the hospital, so we were able to walk there.  In the afternoon, we took a nice stroll around Penn State campus while breathing in fresh air in which we had not had in days.

Being that Benny was so heavily sedated during the course of his treatment, the doctors had to monitor him closely for withdrawal symptoms. Benny was still radioactive so the nurses and doctors left the majority of care in our hands.  We had to stay at Benny’s bedside all day, all night and the following day.  I took the first shift Friday night.  Benny basically had his eyes open since 10 am Friday morning thru 3 pm Shabbos afternoon.  It was scary seeing him look at us but not really responding to what we were saying.

Shabbos morning we had a surprise visitor.  It was the head of Bikur Cholim who came to say hi and tell us she was in with her son. She asked if Ari could make a Misha Berach in shul for her son who was having surgery later that morning.

We were so happy to be given the opportunity to give back to someone who had been so wonderful to us during our stay in CHOP. We also had plenty of food to share as all well. Bikur Cholim and Chai Life Line did an incredible job of not only feeding us, but the nurses station as well.

B”H the young man’s surgery went well and Benny, Ari and I were able to be M’vaker Choleh Shabbos afternoon.   It was a good feeling to be M’vaker Choleh (visit the sick) to the Bikur Cholim.

It was clear to us Shabbos morning why Hashem kept Benny in the hospital. He wanted to give us this amazing opportunity to do this Mitzvah.

During our hospital stay I told Benny every day, if he behaves himself we will try and take him to the Philadelphia Zoo.  That is exactly what we did early this morning before heading up to Long Island this afternoon.   Seeing Benny’s reaction to the monkeys swinging on branches and giraffes eating leaves, brought a smile to Benny’s face and tears to our eyes.  It was as if nothing happened the week before.

Thank you Michelle and Avi and family for driving down from Clifton to spend an hour with us in the zoo. It was like old times!

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