Untold Stories of the Pack


Justin Hernandez

A picture Michael Bensusen.

Jaysen Ford, Editor in Chief

Ridgeview student Michael Bensusen was born on November 27, 2005 in stable condition, and was brought home to a loving family. Everything was perfectly normal. Everything was, supposedly, how it should’ve been. 

One night, the newborn baby was rushed back to the hospital with a high fever. As his family waited with bated breath, countless tests and examinations from doctors yielded nothing. All they knew was that a virus had caused the fever. This went on for months on end, and as each day passed, there was less and less hope for Bensusen to recover. “I was born in November, and I left the hospital in January. It got so bad to the point where my family and everybody thought I wouldn’t survive,” He says his parents basically had to be prepared for the fact that their kid was going to die.  

Up until his fever peaked and miraculously went down. Bensusen says one night his condition was the worst it had been, and the next day his family was able to take him back home. “Randomly, at some point overnight my illness just peaked. It went down so fast that I was out the day after it peaked, and I still don’t know why. I should be dead.”

 Daily, countless families go through this very same scenario and, similarly, have to deal with the possibility of losing their child just after welcoming them into the world. For many who are less fortunate, this possibility becomes a tragic reality.

Today, as a senior in high school, Bensusen says he has used this experience as motivation to find meaning. When describing the impact this has had on his life, he explains that he has thought about it constantly. “I’m really lucky,” he says. “Because I should have been dead.” Bensusen says if he’s ever feeling sad or facing hardships, he’ll remember that there is a reason he’s been kept here. “Something’s kept me alive. Something’s stopped me from kicking the bucket.” 

Bensusen is able to achieve a deeper appreciation of life as a whole. “At any point life can just be taken from you,” he says. “So you’ve got to appreciate what you have. You have to live every day like it’s the last.”