But thanks to the New York Rangers, things for a moment were brighter Saturday for the 11-year-old East Brook student, who's been at Morristown Medical Center since the bus he and his classmates were on collided with a dump truck on Route 80 Thursday, killing a young classmate and a teacher.
Brendan, an avid New York Rangers fan, was given a signed stick by his idol, goalie Henrik Lundqvist, as well as a card from the entire team.
"That was the first time I've seen him comprehend something and put a smile on his face" since the crash, Brendan's dad, Arnie O'Callaghan, told Daily Voice.
His original Facebook video capturing the moment went viral -- drawing more than 47,000 views in less than 24 hours.
"I don't know if it was a smile or he was going to cry because he's been in a lot of pain," the elder O'Callaghan said. "There was a moment of joy I could see that I haven't in a couple of days, and I felt happiness."
The gift was organized by Brendan's hockey coach, Kevin Moran, with help from Dan Meyer.
Brendan suffered a punctured lung, broken skull and collarbone and concussion in the crash.
"He feels like he’s in a dream right now -- and it’s a bad dream, unfortunately," said O'Callaghan, a Dumont police officer. "He asks how he can get out of this dream. He wants to know if he missed the field trip."
O'Callaghan hopes that sharing the video of his son's joy will help other families whose children were on that bus.
"I’m overwhelmed with attention," O'Callaghan said. "I want to make sure the other families are getting the same support and attention."
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