donate icon DONATE

Grateful Family Gives Back to Shriners Children's Boston

Ben and his family developed a special bond with nurse Rich.

Ben was almost 3 years old when a fireworks accident during a summer holiday party in New Hampshire resulted in burn injuries covering 27% of his body.

He was admitted to Shriners Children’s Boston that same day, and spent his first week at the hospital in a medically-induced coma. Ben spent 30 days as an inpatient, undergoing multiple skin graft surgeries with his parents, Rob and Jessica, by his side.

After transitioning to outpatient care, Ben and his parents traveled to Shriners Children’s Boston every week from their home in New Hampshire for appointments. As time went on and Ben continued to heal, those appointments became less frequent. Now a teenager, Ben sees his Shriners Children’s care team every two years for evaluation, and he has developed strong bonds with the staff who have known him for more than a decade.

Ben’s family is grateful for the care that Ben receives at Shriners Children’s Boston, with many nurses and doctors having made a tremendous impact on him. The family developed a special bond with one nurse in particular, Richard Sederman, RN, CPN. “In very challenging times, nurse Rich was able to make us smile and give us hope that the accident would one day be a distant memory. We ask for nurse Rich every time we visit,” Jessica said.

Ben and Jessica enjoyed walking with Rich and his family during the 2022 Boston Haunted Walk, the Shriners Children’s Boston signature fundraising event. In the spring of 2023, Ben had a lead role in his school play, The Descendants. “Nurse Rich and his children came to cheer him on! It has been a wonderful friendship,” said Jessica.

Staying in touch with their care team between appointments is important to Ben and his family. “The staff who took such excellent care of Ben can see how well he is doing, largely because of their expertise in treating Ben’s burn wounds over time,” Jessica said.

The staff who took such excellent care of Ben can see how well he is doing, largely because of their expertise in treating Ben’s burn wounds over time.
Jessica, Ben's mother

Nurse Rich described Ben as an amazing and inspiring patient. “Ben’s bravery and determination have a permanent place in my heart. I remember how tough he was during painful treatments. All other times, Ben was just a lot of fun, and I owe him and his parents for a whole bunch of smiles and making me a better nurse,” Rich said.

During the initial phase of treatment for a burn injury, families can be overwhelmed and anxious about the future. Ben and his family have some wise words to share: It gets better! Jessica noted the importance of following the recommended treatment plan precisely. “It made a big difference, which is noticeable more than 10 years later,” she said. As Ben was recovering from his burn injury, a key date on the calendar was coming quickly – the start of preschool. It was a milestone that Jessica and Rob wanted to meet, but were not sure if the timing was realistic. “We continued with that plan, and tried to resume life the best we could. That and following the care plan made all the difference,” Jessica said.

Ben is in the eighth grade, and has no limits on pursuing the activities that interest him. He was recently elected eighth grade student council president and was cast as SpongeBob in The SpongeBob Musical, which will be performed at a local theatre in his hometown this November. In addition to acting, Ben loves to sing and play the piano. He also enjoys swimming and skiing. This summer, he even tried water skiing for the first time. Ben is a member of the National Honor Society.

“Shriners has had such an impact on our family, and we are incredibly thankful,” said Jessica. Over the years, Ben has given back to Shriners Children’s Boston in meaningful ways. When Ben was in the second grade, he organized a holiday and get-well card drive at his school. Ben’s fellow students created and donated cards with messages of hope for the children who were Shriners Children’s Boston patients at that time. He also raised more than $1,000 at the Shriners Children’s Boston Haunted Walk in 2022. Ben and his family hope to do it again in October to help support the hospital’s mission to care for other children with burn injuries.

Meet Ben

From collecting cards for patients to participating in the Boston Haunted Walk, Ben is helping support Shriners Children's mission.

Ben with his parents

Ben and his parents, Rob and Jessica, are all smiles on discharge day.

Ben and Rich

Ben and nurse Rich spent time together at the 2022 Boston Haunted Walk.


Ben on his first day of preschool

Ben with his mother

Ben and his mom, Jessica, at the Boston Haunted Walk


Pictured: Ben today. Ben is a member of the National Honor Society.

Next Steps

Share Your Story

Our patients and families are at the heart of everything we do at Shriners Children's. We invite you to share how the team at Shriners Children's has helped your child.

Give to Shriners Children's

Through the generosity of donors like you, we've helped over one million children lead more fulfilling lives, regardless of their families' ability to pay.

Contact Us

Have a question or request? Need to make an appointment? We're here for you.