I never realized that’s how he got his name. When he was born to Agnes Dover, he was in a breech position. Unlike most babies who are positioned in the uterus so that the head is delivered first during a vaginal birth, his legs were in place to come out first during delivery.
The doctor told Agnes and her husband, Mick, that he’d have perform a c-section in order to safely remove the baby from Agnes’ womb, but Agnes insisted that she wanted a natural childbirth, which meant that the doctor would have to attempt to turn the baby around by applying pressure on Agnes’ abdomen.
It took a while, and it was painful for Agnes, but the doctor finally turned the baby so it could be delivered head first. However, apparently in his attempt to reposition the baby, something happened and when the baby was delivered, it came out of the womb bent in a weird position.
Everyone in the delivery room was silent as the baby emerged, but Agnes wanted to hold the baby. When she first saw him, she started to cry, but despite his extreme deformity, she promised that if God let her baby live, she would love him unconditionally.
Because of the way he was, Agnes and Mick decided to name their new son Ben. Ben Dover. When the news spread about Ben, he became an item of curiosity and interest. Articles in newspapers and magazines were written about Ben. Local, national, and even international TV news outlets covered his birth, and the public’s fascination with Ben Dover continued throughout his early childhood, into his teen years, and even into young adulthood.
Because of his unique physical deformity, Ben required special care, which was very costly. Fortunately, big-hearted people generously donated money to help Agnes and Mick pay for Ben’s needs.
And despite his auspicious start, Ben accepted his uniqueness and notoriety graciously. He would bend over backwards to make observers feel comfortable in his presence and would speak freely and forthrightly about his disability and the special challenges he faced
Sadly, Ben was not long for this world, and at the young age of 32, his twisted body betrayed him and he passed away. But in tribute to this unique boy who tried to make everyone he met happier for having met him, the small town in which he was born, raised, and lived until his early death, erected a statue of Ben Dover in his honor.
The plaque on the ground in front of the stature read…
Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge prompt. Photo credit: Sarah Whiley.