I phone his mom at 130. She doesn't answer. She calls me back at 132.
You need to come to the hospital. It's his last night.
Oh no, no, no. I'm on my way. I cry fresh tears for Ben's mom.
Your mom is on her way, I say.
Yes, he gasps. He can hear and understand but he's down to one word answers now.
He's heavily sedated.
Are you in pain? I ask. No, he gasps.
His raspy breaths continue but he feels no pain.