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Update on Ryan – Apr21F

Ryan has successfully made the transition to his new facility (Polytrauma Transitional Program). He is kept very busy with therapies from 8a – 3p. After that, he always has lots of homework. He is responsible to clean his own room, do his own laundry, make his own breakfasts and lunches as well as keep up with community chores as well. In addition, they add group activities to get the patients back into shopping and interacting in the community. Ryan is also leading a Bible Study on Mondays and Fridays. Nine different men have attended the study. He is using the Story of Hope booklet from Good Soil Evangelism (the same booklet we are working on translating into Polish).

His diet is still consists of soft foods, thickened drinks and regular water. Recently he ran 1 km continuously; he was able to hold his breath under water and was able to swim 2 sets of 2 lengths front crawl.

Ryan’s biggest concern in healing is his throat and voice. He has a very hoarse voice because his vocal cords are restrained by a scar. His works hard to use his “false vocal folds” to make the sounds we hear. He also uses a voice-aid microphone when he’s leading the Bible Study. The scar is not only hurting his voice, but it is also blocking his airway to some extent. This becomes significant when he is trying to exercise vigorously or play his flute. They are looking at some kind of intervention to break up the scar. Any intervention in the throat is delicate and may impair any one of three vital functions: breathing, swallowing and speaking. Any major intervention like a surgery may would require him to have a trach inserted again. The trach may have to stay for up to 3 months.

Through all that God has shown us these last six months, we have learned time and time again that God has given Ryan a gloriously wonderful and complex body; that is was been broken in many ways; and that God is able to restore anything He chooses to restore.

Ryan could wait and maybe God would break up the scar Himself and “loosen his tongue.” He could request a surgery to remove the scar and repair the folds. We could discover some new and better intervention that would have more chance of success. But in the end we need to fully trust God’s hand in providing for the rest of Ryan’s needs in spite of these lingering deficits.

Ryan has a some unique opportunities to tell the story of God’s grace and healing as well as thank those medical professionals who have worked so hard to save his life and rehabilitate him. PBS is doing a special on the poly-trauma unit he just left. They videoed his musical rehab group including him playing on his flute. Sometime in the near future they will be interviewing Ryan and us along with his former doctor. In the meantime our family has produced a “Thank-you” video for one medical professional who has been nominated for an award. In May Ryan will be joining his family for his brother’s graduation, his sister’s wedding and a “Thank-you” tour of the medical centers in which he was treated.

On May 31 we will return to Poland. Ryan’s brother Christian will be in or near Richmond to keep him company and help him with any special needs. Ryan’s next step will be to transfer to the Wounded Warrior Battalion headquarters in Portsmouth, VA where he will continue to train, develop his skills and eventually undergo an evaluation by a military medical board to determine his fitness to return to duty. Please pray for Ryan as he continues down this path of God’s purpose and choosing.
P.S. Ed & Leslie are no longer at Fisher House at McGuire VA Medical Center. Please contact us by phone (586-744-1484 M, 330-460-6207 H), e-mail or contact form on this website.

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