Los Angeles

North Hills 1999 Mass Shooting Survivor Returns to Hospital That Saved His Life

Ben hopes that the president will do just that during his visit to Dayton and El Paso Wednesday.

Saturday, Aug. 10 marks the 20th anniversary of the mass shooting at the Jewish Community Center in North Hills, and one man who at the time was just a 5-year-old boy returned to the Hospital that saved his life.

Eleanor Kadish's son Ben was the most severely wounded shooting victim of 1999 mass shooting where a gunman, motivated by hate, opened fire inside the Jewish Community Center.

The Holy Cross Medical Center staff took a look back and remembered that young boy who was at the brink of death.

"No pulse, no blood pressure. A 5-year-old clinging to life," recalled trauma surgeon Richard More.

After going under for a six-hour surgery, Ben was stabilized and later transferred to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

For the first time since 1999, Ben Kadish, who is now 25, walked into that same trauma room where his life was saved.

"I don't remember being in this room but thinking about being in here and being saved in this room is a very surreal feeling," said Ben Kadish as he walked into the room on Wednesday.

It was a surreal moment for him and his mother to realize how close he was to dying but also a frustrating moment as he notes the current rise in mass shootings since 1999.

"That's the hardest part, to think of the families that have to say goodbye to their loved ones early because of something so senseless," the 25-year-old said.

Meanwhile, the mother expressed her anger towards recent shootings.

"It makes me very angry. It makes me very angry that it happens, continually," said Eleanor Kadish.

After the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks last year, Ben Kadish went to the scene to offer support that only another survivor can provide. But, he admits sometimes listening is the best way to help.

"There's nothing you can say to them, that it's going to be ok," Ben Kadish said. "You just have to offer your support, and that is the hardest part, just being able to sit there and listen."

Ben Kadish hoped that the president will do just that during his visit to Dayton and El Paso Wednesday. He said, hopefully, by listening to them, it will allow room for change--change that will minimize the amount of shootings that occur in the U.S.

Ben Kadish said, "How can you go to these cities and witness the tragedy these people are going through and not be able to change what's going on time and time again?"

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