Listening Draws Family Together After Tragedy
The Benda family were faced with a serious tragedy when Pete fell 30 feet from an auditorium lift and suffered a major traumatic brain injury during his freshman year at Juan Diego High School. Instead of giving into despair or feeling resigned to a dark fate, the Bendas learned to find hope in listening—listening to the doctors, listening to the medical devices, listening to Pete’s breathing, and eventually Pete’s own voice.
When Pete came out of the coma, his family’s hope and determination were further bolstered. Even though the path to his recovery was difficult and arduous, Pete had the support of his parents, his two older siblings, and his community every step of the way.
Pete recounts his incredible recovery with these inspiring words, “Who knew I would be walking, running, swimming? I proved those doctors wrong.”
Currently finishing high school at Juan Diego High School, Pete and the Benda family are an inspiration to everyone they know. The Benda family are highly active outdoor enthusiasts—frequently spending time skiing, hiking, and mountain biking—and Pete has been able to return to much of that. In fact, Pete ran his first half marathon just 7 months after his head injury and continues to run in races today. He and his family prove that listening can bring hope when things seem darkest.
His strength is made apparent through his optimistic approach to life: “I honestly don’t understand why this has happened to me, where I was a good kid before. Maybe the truth of everything is that bad things happen to good people. So God, whatever you have in store for me, in my life, I’m ready.”
Watch his story here: