'Band of brothers' comes together to help another

PLYMOUTH — When brothers Dan and Dave Tanner heard that their longtime friend and former bandmate, Ben Boys, was in the hospital with a severe heart problem, they knew they had to help.
The Tanner brothers are part of the band Straightaway, originally formed in 1986 with Ben and his brother, Tom Boys. When Ben moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., he had to drop out of the band — but his friends didn’t forget about him. They recently organized a benefit on his behalf, held the day before Thanksgiving at the Plymouth Eagles.
“Instead of asking for donations, we thought we would get the band together to play,” said Dan Tanner. “What better tribute than to have the band (Boys) started with help him out?”
Straightaway played for about 520 people that night, raising a total of $2,500 to help pay Boys’ medical bills. Boys made a brief appearance at the benefit and was surprised at the number of people there.
“I thought it would be just a little shindig, and I thought that was very cool of them,” said Boys about initially learning of the benefit. “It is definitely in character for Dave and Dan to want to do something like that. It was very heartwarming that it was taking place for my benefit.”
Boys is now recovering from an operation that repaired a tear on the inner wall of his aorta. The tear was completely unexpected, said Boys. He was at home when he felt a surge of pressure and a tearing sensation before collapsing. Ben’s father, Mike Boys, said that he believes it is a miracle his son lived through the operation. Mike was told by doctors that one in four people who get that particular
surgery don’t survive. Ben also had the good fortune of being treated at the University of Michigan
hospital, which is the top rated hospital in the world for aorta operations, according to Mike.
Now, Boys is getting regular checkups, seeing a blood pressure specialist, and taking medication.
“It’s probably going to be a lifetime relationship with my cardiologist,” said Boys.
He added that his doctor told him he is recovering ahead of schedule.
Boys has returned to work part-time, and is very grateful for the support from his
friends and family. He lives with his 7-year-old daughter, Phoebe, in Ann Arbor.