Summer had started, and 10-year-old Kenneth Benjamin was enjoying his freedom. One day, as he and his older sister were playing tag in his grandmother’s front yard, he ran to the end of the driveway. A car hit him and sent him flying onto the grass.
He was surprised that he couldn’t get up and even more surprised to see that his leg was turned backward. An ambulance took him to Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, where doctors discovered that his leg was broken in three places. Off to surgery he went.
Kenneth spent the summer in a cast, traveling back and forth to physical therapy sessions at LBJ and being cared for by his mother and grandmother. A natural athlete, he soon mastered his crutches, even learning some fancy maneuvers. His big disappointment was the fear that he may not be able to play football again. “Football was my sport,” he says. “I was already dreaming of going pro.”
When the cast came off, Kenneth was in for a shock. His leg wasn’t the leg he remembered; it was skinny and felt funny. He recalls, “Granny was my personal house doctor. She rubbed my leg with oil and took care of me.”
Once summer was over, he started fifth grade in a walking boot. He continued with physical therapy. “The therapists were really nice to me. They didn’t let me get my spirits down. They were my motivation and inspiration. They told me I’d be back on the football field in no time.”
They were right. Kenneth was back on the football field before the season was over. “The drills helped me get the strength back in my leg.”
Now Kenneth is 23 and recently earned an associate’s degree in business management from Houston Community College. His dreams have turned from professional football to business. He’s a budding entrepreneur with plenty of ideas. Kenneth and his business partners are converting a building into a studio, and he has plans for a clothing line. If his determination to return to the football field is any indication, his name will be on a label very soon.