(KETK) Henderson Tx — A special benefit took place on Sunday in Henderson to support 6-year-old Bentley Brands. Bentley was diagnosed with a rare disease when he was born and was in and out of the hospital for the first five years of his life.
"I'm a good kid," Bentley said. "And I'm thankful all these people came. I'm thankful for my family. My sister, myself and my dad and my mom."
But, it's all the people he mentioned who are much more thankful, for him and his precious life. Especially his parents. Spending years away from home, in hospitals, living out of motels, Danielle and Chris gave it all up, so they would not lose what matters most... their son.
"Looking back I don't know how we did it," said Danielle Brands. "I just know we did it because we had to."
Brands, only four months pregnant was told by doctors something was wrong. But, it was not until two days after he was born, they learned his chance of living was less than one percent.
He was diagnosed with Short Gut Syndrome because he was born with only 10 centimeters of his small intestine, a fraction of what is needed to live. He could not digest food, and had to be fed through his veins while his name sat waiting on the transplant list.
"It was just by the power of the Lord that he even made it to 17 months to receive a transplant," said Bentley's Grandmother, Linda Brooks.
On Jan. 15, 2009, Bentley was fortunate to receive an intestine, liver and pancreas all from a one month old baby from Pennsylvania.
"We had to spend seven months in Pennsylvania, away from our friends, away from our family, just us and Bentley," Danielle Brands said.
And now, five years later, Bentley is all smiles and doing great. In fact, this was the first year Bentley did not have to have surgery, something the family hopes becomes the norm.