Her 18-year-old son Kyle was skiing with a friend. He descended quickly, when he flew off his board. The back of his skull hit the pavement and sustained a six-inch-wide fracture. He wasn’t wearing a helmet.
His friend called 911 right away. Paramedics arrived from the El Dorado Hills Fire Department and he was hurriedly transported by ambulance to the University of California, Davis’ Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
The National Safety Council reports that 217,646 people in the United States were treated in hospital emergency rooms for snowboarding, snowboarding, and snowboarding injuries in 2020. The majority of these injuries (more than 81,000) occurred in children aged 5 years and older. and 14 years old.
“It broke my heart to see him like this.”
As a result of his fall, Kyle suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a skull fracture, a subdural hematoma (a buildup of blood on the surface of the brain) and a blood clot in the brain.
As hours went by, more infections were added to the growing list. He had a broken vertebra. He also had pneumonia, a common complication of severe brain injury.
“When I entered the doors of this hospital, I had no idea what to expect or when we would be able to bring Kyle home. And to be honest, if Sharon Benton said.
It was her first look at her son in the hospital: Kyle lying motionless, surrounded by endless wires connected to monitors. A brace supports his neck in place. The ventilator was breathing for him. He was in a medical coma.
“It broke my heart to see him like this,” Benton said. “But the doctors and nurses were so talented, so compassionate and kind. Our nurses were there for me, cried with me, and had me through those tough days.”
Cale would remain in that state for two weeks. During this time, UC Davis neurosurgeon Oren Bloch successfully performed a decompression craniectomy, an operation to remove part of his skull to relieve swelling in his brain. Months later, he would have had a skull reconstruction to reshape the portion of his skull that had been removed.
Then, slowly, his medical team weaned him off sedatives and pain relievers. It was a daily balancing act to keep him stable and relaxed but moving forward.
Sharon created an online Facebook group, Prayers for Kyle Benton, to regularly update her family and friends on Kyle’s progress. She soon had thousands of global followers she had never met before, who were keeping Cale and her family in their prayers.
You will forever remember September 11, 2020 as the turning point in Kyle’s ailing journey. She posted on her Facebook group, “We’ve seen many changes in Kyle over the past 18 hours. His eyes are starting to flutter. His arms and legs are moving. They’re cutting down on all medications and respiratory aid. This may take a couple of days, but Kyle is waking up.”
You have to believe in miracles. This is what Kyle stands for. The miracle of walking.
On the way to recovery
When Kyle came out of his coma, he began physical, speech, and occupational therapy at the hospital, six days a week.
“When our rehab team first met Kyle, he was nonverbal, didn’t absorb much and was tube-fed,” said speech therapist Michelle Ramirez. “Kyle progressed quickly and was very resolute and motivated. It was such a pleasure to be in therapy, always ready to take on the difficult and boring tasks that he knew would make him stronger.”
Music therapy also helped provide the necessary recovery for Kyle. Kyle was a passionate musician who played piano and guitar, and was able to receive daily visits from music therapist Tori Steel. He played songs with her that he enjoyed.
9 safety tips for longboards
Longboarding is a style of skateboarding, using longboards that are typically 42 to 80 inches long compared to skateboards that are 30 to 38 inches long. Long boards are flat and build speed when going downhill.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises surfers and longboard riders to follow the following safety precautions:
• Wear a helmet that meets safety standards. Look for a label on the helmet that reads ASTM F1492 or Snell N-94. This means the helmet is specifically designed to protect skaters, longboards, and roller skaters/skaters.
• Wear protective equipment: wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, and flat-soled shoes.
• Make sure the wheels and hardware are tight before riding.
• Pay attention to the speed fluctuation, when the board moves from side to side unexpectedly and causes the passenger to fall. To prevent this, step forward on the board and bend over. Longer plates with wheels that are more spaced out may be less likely to oscillate.
• Check local laws before riding in public. Some cities have rules about where you can ride longboards and snowboards. Do not ride alone or in low light.
• Watch out for holes, rocks and rough riding surfaces.
• Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Use skateboard parks instead of riding on homemade slopes or jumps. Parks are away from vehicular traffic, and slopes are monitored for safety.
• Children under the age of 5 should not ride on boards, and children between 5 and 10 years old should be supervised.
“The first time I met Kyle, his mom showed him videos of him playing music with his friends. Kyle expressed concern several times during that visit that he didn’t remember how to play music,” Steele said. “Music therapy has been used to find ways in which Kyle can positively and easily continue to make music. We realized that although reading or recalling certain pieces of music was frustrating for him, he easily remembered the chords of guitar and piano. Sessions were often spent Music therapy with Kyle playing Elton John or The Beatles songs on guitar and piano, emphasizing Kyle’s strengths as a musician.”
On October 13, the Benton family got the miracle they had hoped for. After 43 days of hospitalization, Cale was discharged from the hospital and was able to get out on his own.
“Kyle’s recovery is a testament to his determination, the support of his parents, his advocacy and the medical team who walk by his side, pushing him every step of the way. We are grateful that we were able to see him now make his way into college,” Ramirez said.
Kyle recently celebrated his 19th birthdayThe tenth birthday. This week, he will be leaving home for Brigham Young University Idaho, where he will begin his freshman year. These are milestones that the Benton family had dreamed of during Cale’s long battle and regained.
“We are so grateful to everyone who was there to take care of Kyle. From our dear friend Stacey Minich who was one of his first responders, to the medical staff at UC Davis. These people and God together saved his life,” Benton said. “You have to believe in miracles.” . This is what Kyle stands for. The miracle of walking.