INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – A beloved Special Olympian from Johnson County needs your help.
Bryce Ryan has been hospitalized for two months after breaking his neck in a freak fall two months ago.
Every day of the last two months has started the same way for Bryce Ryan, with his mother asking him what he is thankful for, then she etches his answer on his window.
“Monday June 17th. Today, I am thankful for waking up,” Bryce said Monday morning.
The 32-year-old Special Olympian would normally be playing volleyball this time of year, or out with his girlfriend Dana, but a nasty fall last April landed him at IU Health Methodist Hospital with a broken neck.
“As of right now, he is a quadriplegic. He has some movement of his arms, but no movement as of yet in his legs,” his mother Marcia said.
She adopted her high-functioning autistic son when he was five years old.
“This has been hard. Really hard,” she said. “He’s also active in his church with special needs ministry there. This one has been tough.”
Bryce had always been positive about his life, living independently, until now.
“Bryce was going through a period where he couldn’t tell me what he was thankful for. I put it up on the window every day and I ask him to tell me one thing and he couldn’t tell me anything,” she continued. “Two months is a very long time. Very long time.”
So mom asked people to send some cards of encouragement.
“Something had to cheer him up. Something had to be done,” Marcia said.
It’s seems to be helping. The man who doesn’t know if he will be able to get out of this bed again was still thoughtful enough to ask Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Rader how John, Andrea and Scott from Eyewitness News were doing and he thought of some other athletes he’s heard of.
“Like what Andrew Luck went through or Victor Oladipo trying to recover from his incident. If they can do it, ‘Why can’t I?'” he said.
That is what Marcia wanted to hear. She knows how difficult it is for him because she has been there everyday.
“That breaks my heart because she has done so much for me. I mean, it’s my mom,” Bryce said as his Marcia wiped away a tear at the foot of his hospital bed.
Most importantly on this Monday, Bryce was thankful for something again. It says so right there on his window.
If you want to send Bryce an encouraging card you can send it to:
c/o Methodist Hospital
1701 N. Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202