PLUM (KDKA) – It is every parent’s worst nightmare – losing a child.
For a family in Plum, the heartbreak and devastation has turned into motivation to make a difference.
Now, you can help as well.
Benjamin Levi Wagner was a fighter from the start.
He was born on Dec. 27, 2012, with congenital heart disease. After a number of procedures and three cardiac arrests, baby Ben was placed on the heart transplant list.
“Unfortunately, Ben was only six pounds and he never really got much larger than that. So, to find a six-pound baby heart was not an easy task,” Holly Wagner said.
A new heart never came and at 2-months-old, while being surrounded by his parents, Holly and Garett, baby Ben lost his battle.
“They did let us hold Ben while he had his last moments. We didn’t get to hold him very much, so that was very nice. My husband and I were both there,” Holly said.
Holly was devastated, but stayed strong for their three other children, Jackson, Ethan, and Camden. The boys will never really know their brave little brother.
“We explained that Benjamin had a broken heart and just because Benjamin had a broken heart doesn’t mean that they have broken hearts. It was just specific to Benjamin,” Holly said.
Although it’s only been six months since Ben’s death, the Wagner’s have turned their sadness into action.
They’ve formed a group called, Ben’s Battle Buddies. Their mission is to raise awareness about congenital heart disease and organ donation.
“Benjamin passed away. I decided that it couldn’t be for nothing. Benjamin had a huge impact on us and something positive had to come from it,” Molly said.
They have already done a lot.
“We have fed the families at the CICU at Children’s, we’ve helped some other CHD families, congenital heart disease families with fundraisers of their own, we’ve donated fabric for Project Pillowcase, where we create pillow cases for the babies that are in the CICU,” Holly said.
They want to do more and are working hard to raise money to become a non-profit as a way for this family of six to honor little Ben forever.
For more information about Ben’s Battle Buddies, click here: http://bensbattlebuddies.org