Southington boy heads home from the hospital for Christmas

SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) – 11-year-old Ben Marek was discharged from a Boston hospital this morning and hundreds were waiting to welcome him home this afternoon.

His mother, Stacy Marek, says the fact her 11-year-old son is still alive is a Christmas miracle in itself…but to return home on Christmas Eve to be able to do all the holiday traditions is a just that much sweeter.

“He survived the un-survivable,” said Stacy Marek

Just ten months ago, 11-year-old Ben Marek’s family didn’t know if their son would survive to see Christmas.

“His brain tumor was a craniopharyngioma,” said Stacy Marek.

That’s a rare, yet treatable brain tumor, but Ben had complications from the surgery.

“That’s what put him on life support<” said Stacy Marek.

The Marek family collectively held their breath as Ben remained on life support for an entire month.

“Benjamin is our Easter miracle. He came off life support the night before Easter,” said Stacy Marek.

Months of rehab in Massachusetts would ensue.

Ben’s journey is chronicled on the Facebook page “Prayers For Ben,” where 2400 people monitored his recovery.

Michelle Schroeder is a family friend. She said, “he did his last treatment last week.”

Now, Ben, who was dubbed the Marek’s Easter miracle, is granting the family’s Christmas wish, he was discharged from mass general this morning.

Here he is, getting into this red McLaren sportscar, the exact one he requested.

That ride down the Mass Pike on this snowy Christmas eve was liberating, but what waited for him when he returned to his Southington neighborhood was once in a lifetime.

The street lined with more than 75 cars, honking to celebrate.

Hundreds of ben’s family, friends, neighbors and teachers, cheering his return home for the first time since last winter.

The 11-year-old Ben, didn’t say much, but his eyes did the talking.

“Up until this moment, it was surreal for him. He was having trouble feeling it, realizing he was actually going home. Turning down the street, made it very real for him,” said Stacy Marek.

The hundreds who rallied for him online and in person, feared Ben wouldn’t see Christmas, but he’s here and he’s thankful that the positivity and love helped carry him through.

His message to them is short, but sincere, “Thank you.”

So, tomorrow is Christmas, but in Southington, tomorrow is also Ben Marek day.

The town council attended the homecoming and made the proclamation shortly after Ben returned.

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