BEACON FALLS — The first pitch of a baseball game is often given to someone who has done something remarkable.
On June 14, before the game between the Hot Rods and the Bulls of the Robert A. Cole Little League, the first pitch was thrown by a 5-year-old who did something extraordinary — he came home.
Jack Bshara of Beacon Falls was admitted to the hospital three weeks ago with a 107.9 degree fever. Unfortunately for Jack, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease a year and a half ago, that was only the beginning.
He developed Leaky Capillary Syndrome, which caused his lungs to fill with water. Due to his deteriorated immune system, his Crohn’s Disease began flaring up.
Since all of these factors happened at the same time, Jack ended up on a ventilator in Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Jack spent 12 nights in the hospital. His parents, Jennifer and Jordan Bshara, spent the nights there with him.
When residents of Beacon Falls heard about what was happening to Jack, they came together to wish him well and help raise money for his medical expenses.
On June 2, shortly after Jack went into the hospital, a Facebook page called “Praying for Jack Bshara and his Family” was created.
Beacon Falls Fire Chief Michael Pratt created and sold wristbands to raise money towards Jacks medical bills. The rubber wristbands, similar to Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong wristbands, were dark blue and have “Prayers for Jack” written on them in white letters.
Many residents around the town began leaving their porch lights on as a vigil for Jack. They would only turn the lights off when Jack came home.
“The support of the town really got us through this,” Jennifer Bshara said.
She said she felt overwhelmed by how much support the town showed for her son and family.
“The support of the community was amazing,” Jennifer Bshara said. “We certainly didn’t expect anything. To me the prayers were enough.”
When Jack came out of the hospital Bob Bulinski, coach of the Hot Rods, invited him to throw the first pitch of the game.
This was an important game because the Hot Rods were playing the Bulls, a team that Jack’s brother, Kyle, plays on and his father coaches.
Although he is now out of the hospital, Jack is not completely out of the woods. He still has his Crohn’s Disease to deal with and will soon began take Remicade, a medicine that is designed to treat the disease. Remicade is administered intravenously for two to three hours every eight weeks.
Although the doctors were able to treat him, the cause of Jack’s illness still remains a mystery.
Jennifer Bshara explained the hospital chose him to be part of a genetic sequencing project to see if it could be some kind of genetic mutation. She may not have all of the answers she wants, but she does know what is essential to her.
“The important thing is that he’s better,” she said. “The power of community and prayer brought him home. We’re just so proud of Beacon Falls.”
Jennifer Bshara wished to thank the fire department, Jack’s preschool United Day School, Jack’s brothers’ school Laurel Ledge, the residents, and her friends and family.