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Arrive Alive!

Mrs. Bennett and Josh Bennett

With Prom and Graduation down the road, a group of Weddington High School’s junior and senior classes were privileged to hear from a mother and her son about a tragic accident and the lessons they have learned. In 2001 Josh Bennett was an average high school student, clowning around in classes, enjoying his friends and working a part time job. One evening after work, some buddies that he worked with talked him into going out to a bar for a drink late one night after work. He phoned mom and said he was going to hang out with some guys from work and would be home soon. She told him to be careful and come home quickly. About 2:15 a.m. mom and dad had the phone call no parent wants to hear, “is this the mother of Josh Bennett…..this is Carolina’s Medical Center in downtown Charlotte.” Like any other parent, her heart and stomach began to pound and ache. Her husband knew what was wrong. Mrs. Bennett spoke to our students saying that the first sight of Josh was “oh, just a cut over the eye and some brain damage, he’ll come to and be ok in a few days.” Those days turned into weeks and into months. Josh was in Rehab and they told Mr. & Mrs. Bennett to place him in a nursing home because he would only get worse. However, his parents refused to believe this and brought Josh home, creating a loving and daily caring environment for him. Josh is now 25 and doing well. That late night decision changed his life forever. He no longer has the mind of a 25 year old, has to have constant care and is limited to his activities. His family does enjoy going out to eat, movies and occasionally laser tag when someone can push Josh around in his wheelchair. He uses a walker now and can get around at his own pace.
Mrs. Bennett gave a heart wrenching story to our students and she also reminded them of how much their parents love them. She ended her presentation with a statement of “making good decisions” may not be what is cool but can have lifelong effects. She told them that no phone call or test message was that important that they should risk their lives.
Weddington’s juniors and seniors thanked Mrs. Bennett and her son Josh for helping them to see how split second decisions can impact the rest of their lives.

Written by: Brenda Jackson, Assistant Principal
Posted: Apr 16, 2010 by Cheryl Edwards

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