Guilderland teen prepares for third brain surgery battle

April 26, 2019 01:30 PM

We first introduced you to Ben Parker in early February 2018 as he was preparing for the annual Tim Tebow "Night to Shine". It’s a prom set up for kids with special needs. He had long suffered from seizures.

The summer before, in August 2017, he had undergone his second brain surgery of his young life. But it was stopped because he went into anaphylactic shock. Doctors were hopeful he would not need another surgery. But he heads back to Boston Children’s Hospital next month for that surgery.


"I come out strong because I work hard and everything,” Ben told us. “I just try my best at everything I can do."

Born with refractory epilepsy, Ben had his first surgery as an infant and the seizures subsided. But at age 13 he was assaulted and two weeks later the seizures returned. Since then the Parker family has been traveling back and forth to Boston for tests, medication adjustments and hospital stays.

"He doesn't think of himself as any exception, he doesn't make excuses for himself through everything that he has been through he does not let it define who he is,” said his mother Carrie. “If anything it just makes him stronger and we push through it."

A two-part surgery is planned beginning May 8, with inpatient recovery, and a second, May 15. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with the added expenses to this latest leg of the journey.

"We've been going back and forth to Boston for two years now countless times, days at a time, weeks at a time and here we are again,” said Carrie.

Ben says he gets his strength from his family including his twin brother George. They feel just the opposite.

"Actually I look at it completely the opposite,” said Carrie. “Personally I feel Ben gives us the strength because we look at him and all that he has been through and all he continues to go through and it doesn't stop him." :14 "He just says let's do this, let's get it out of the way, I have things to do, I have things to do."

Adds his father George: "He's the strongest individual that I know and that's not just coming from a dad. I don't know where he gets his strength…He goes ‘it's time to go to work and we're going to go beat these seizures’ and we go to Boston because Boston's the best."

Click here for the link to our original story about Ben's Night to Shine in 2018.


WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Relay Media Amp
In-store shopping now open in the Capital Region

Capital Region enters Phase II of reopening

Nation's streets calmest in days; police credit curfews

Schenectady County offering free masks to businesses

Protests staying peaceful in Albany