Urgent Ryan Update: The Most Amazing Email I’ve Ever Received

Words fail me, other than GOD IS GOOD.  Last mini-update a few days ago did not look good.  I thought we might be reaching the end of Ryan’s story very very soon.

What do I know?

Be amazed, and please continue to be diligent in prayer.  I hope this knocks you on your butt like it did me:

As I have shared with you our friends are going through a tough trial. It has been ongoing for about 8 or 9 years since Ryan and Kristin were about 11 or 12. Twelve days ago Ryan was found unconscious from a heroine overdose and has been in a coma every since. His wish was to not be kept alive on life support and Thursday he was taken off of them. MRI’s showed the terrible brain damage from the overdoses he has had.

Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Here is an update that Ryan’s mom, Linda, posted on Facebook yesterday at 11:05pm:

We apologize for not posting updates for a while; we realize that so many of you have been faithfully praying and waiting to hear about the change in Ryan’s condition. Thank you for your grace & patience. Since the afternoon when we were supposed to move Ryan to the hospice we have been in an absolute whirlwind of emotions, extremely busy with Ryan and in seemingly continual meetings with our fantastic medical team who are making decisions about Ryan’s care.

Basically, Ryan’s prognosis has not changed. We are still at Harborview, though we’ve been moved to a large private room on an upper floor where Ryan’s doctors felt it would be more quiet for Ryan and for our family (we are still in no visitor and isolation mode, because he has c. diff, which is actually a very nasty contagious diarrhea). A group of nine doctors met with us today for over an hour and a half, and their medical consensus is that Ryan will most likely die from the damage to his body caused by the drug overdose and the subsequent oxygen deprivation.

However, we were given an ENORMOUS, miraculous gift on Thursday…something NONE of the doctors at Harborview Medical Center have ever seen, heard of, or found documentation of happening before. After being completely unresponsive for 10 days, with no body movement or improvement neurologically, we experienced something absolutely incredible. As Ryan was being moved from his bed to the gurney for transport to the hospice, the EMT moving him asked him if he was doing okay. He answered, “Yup. 100 percent.” Everyone in the room audibly gasped. He went on to answer when asked his name, and to tell us that he was not feeling pain. He was still not moving, his eyes were roving (didn’t seem to be seeing us at all) and he was speaking in a somewhat robotic sounding voice. But for the next several hours, Ryan interacted with us!! He continued to answer questions in an intelligent, cogent manner…astounding the doctors who have an MRI that shows that his brain should not be capable of any speech whatsoever.

When Rob asked him what he wanted, he said, “That is a complicated question.” After Rob had given him a drink of water, and he was able to swallow well, Larissa told him that he had done a good job, and he asked, “Are you being sarcastic?” When the neurologist came in and introduced himself to Ryan, Ryan said, “Whassup?”

It gets even better…God is SO good….when Rob asked Ryan if he knew how proud Rob was of him, he said, “Yes, I know.” And when I told him I loved him, he replied, “I love you, too.” When Larissa expressed her love (Lindsey and Riley were not there at the time), he told her he loved her, then said, “…and Riley, too.” I wish you could see me smiling as I am writing this…how could God have given us a more precious gift? At one point, Rob asked him a question that he used to ask the kids every night before bedtime when they were little..”Who loves you the most?” Ryan answered, “God.”

We were given a gift on Thursday that we will never forget, and will never stop thanking God for, no matter what tomorrow holds. Today Ryan has been only spoken a little bit, and has not made any other neurological improvements. He has been unconscious most of the day. So we are choosing to praise our awesome God for this gift that none of the doctors here can understand or explain, and we are going to take one day at a time, trusting Him to continue to carry us through this. And…God has given us a great deal of peace about trusting our highly skilled team of doctors, who are making the decisions about Ryan’s continuing care.

The best way you can support us is to join us in taking one day at a time…not jumping ahead to predict what God is going to do or not do, but simply being with us in the moment, rejoicing with us that we got to talk with our son, but also knowing that we do not know what tomorrow will hold, so our entire family is feeling very fragile right now. The five of us, thanks to your prayers, are so blessed to be so close to one another, and to be together as we come around Ryan in love…and in grief that he is going through such a traumatic thing. It is hard for all of us to see him unconscious and unable to move his body or to see us…but we are all remembering (thank you, Pastor Steve) that this is God’s story, and, again, He loves Ryan far more than all five of us put together. And if you could feel the love in this room right now, that is an ENORMOUS amount of love, let me tell you.

We are feeling OVERWHELMED by gratitude…our list is so long that I would be up all night writing if I listed everything, but I am going to just tell you the few things that have reminded us of how faithful our God is to us during this extremely difficult time of our lives. And He is using many of you to bless and encourage us…we have been so moved.

* Our head nephrologist (kidney doctor) actually offered to let us come to her home to shower, sleep and do laundry!!

* Our head ICU doctor just came upstairs tonight and gave us his personal cell phone number, so that if we have ANY problems on the new floor we are on, we can call him to come and help us even though he is technically not our attending doctor anymore…we are AMAZED at the care we are getting here!).

* Two of my dear friends, Tracy & Mary, from the place I worked in the late 90’s went to our house and thoroughly cleaned it from top to bottom…which hasn’t been done in…never mind.

* Five of Rob’s dearest firefighter friends, Paul, Dustin, Doug, Andrew, and Jesse came and did work in our huge forested yard, pressured washed everything, and basically did all the jobs that have been making Rob feel terrible that he was not doing (while he has been making our family healing and reconciliation with Ryan a priority).

* Someone anonymously dropped off a VERY generous sum of money on two QFC gift cards, which took off a great deal of stress and worry about the money we’ve been having to spend on eating out this week while I am not earning any income.

* My brother, with whom Ryan is very close, arrived today from California, and has been an incredible help in caring for Ryan, allowing Rob and I to take breaks to talk with doctors or Lindsey, Riley and Larissa. Because he was by the side of two loved ones while they were dying from AIDS, he is, sadly, very comfortable in a hospital setting, and not only extremely loving to Ryan, but very gracious to his nurses, as well. His timing in coming could not have been more perfect. Tomorrow night Rob and I are going to take our first night off and go home together for the evening, and leave Ryan with his Uncle Don, because we know that if Ryan were to wake up with Don here, he would feel completely surrounded by unconditional love (and Don would call us immediately so we could break all speed limits coming back. 🙂

* Thank you, so much, Don and Leanne H., for coming to sit with Ryan so lovingly so that my Don could go into the family meeting with us…and then staying not only to support us, but to be a huge support to Lindsey, Riley and Larissa…they appreciated it so very much…you have loved them like your own children.

* Two of our pastors, Chuck and Steve, as well as our dear friend and physician Scott, all came last night to pray with us over Ryan and to help us make sense of what the doctors were saying was a very confusing, upsetting and rather grim day. They were the ones who helped us to “reframe” the day…to realize that even though we had been on a kind of emotional rollercoaster, that we could only choose to view the day as a precious, priceless gift from God…and to treasure it, no matter what the future holds. We do not know, but our faithful God does, and He has ALWAYS carried us through every storm that has come our way, so we KNOW that we can trust Him.

* Our cherished friends Dave and Sue, who have walked the dark valley of losing a child themselves, have really come alongside us to grieve with us and help bear our burden…as well as bringing us teriyaki chicken for dinner (which made Larissa decide that the Martins were definitely her BEST friends ever).

Thank you for taking the time, if you have read this far…to actually sit through this lengthy, and probably inarticulate retelling of the last 40 or so hours. It helps me to process it all…and I don’t ever want to forget all that God has done to prove His great love for our family…and to show us that He really does walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death.

And thank you SO much to those who have, through Emily, provided us with meals, loaded gift cards, and donated to the benevolent fund that June Blender so kindly set up…well, we cannot begin to thank you. Words will never ever express our appreciation. We are so very aware that we in no way deserve all the love that you are showing us, and will never be able to repay it…and we are overwhelmed by how loving, unselfish and generous our friends are. We are the most blessed, and rich of all families to have friends like you.

I am probably going to get lovingly scolded by my beloved, wonderful husband for staying up so late to finish this, but there is never time in the day to post updates. So I’ll head to bed now, in my recliner chair next to Ryan (he has been quiet, unconscious right next to me the entire time I’ve been writing this…except for a bit of coughing). And as I get ready for bed, my mind is just brimming with all these things I am thanking God for…what a great way to end this day.

We love you ALL. I’ll do my best to post an update this weekend…or especially if anything changes. Again, thank you for your understanding and grace. If you know people who aren’t on FaceBook, but are wanting to know what is going on, if you’d pass this along we’d greatly appreciate it. We just don’t have time to answer text messages, FB messages, phone calls, etc…as much as we’d like to. The doctors keep us very busy, and when we’re not busy with them, we don’t want to miss a minute with Ryan since we don’t know how many more we’ll have left.

Trusting in His grace & mercy,

Rob and Linda

We apologize for not posting updates for a while; we realize that so many of you have been faithfully praying and waiting to hear about the change in Ryan’s condition. Thank you for your grace & patience. Since the afternoon when we were supposed to move Ryan to the hospice we have been in an absolute whirlwind of emotions, extremely busy with Ryan and in seemingly continual meetings with our fantastic medical team who are making decisions about Ryan’s care.

Basically, Ryan’s prognosis has not changed. We are still at Harborview, though we’ve been moved to a large private room on an upper floor where Ryan’s doctors felt it would be more quiet for Ryan and for our family (we are still in no visitor and isolation mode, because he has c. diff, which is actually a very nasty contagious diarrhea). A group of nine doctors met with us today for over an hour and a half, and their medical consensus is that Ryan will most likely die from the damage to his body caused by the drug overdose and the subsequent oxygen deprivation.

However, we were given an ENORMOUS, miraculous gift on Thursday…something NONE of the doctors at Harborview Medical Center have ever seen, heard of, or found documentation of happening before. After being completely unresponsive for 10 days, with no body movement or improvement neurologically, we experienced something absolutely incredible. As Ryan was being moved from his bed to the gurney for transport to the hospice, the EMT moving him asked him if he was doing okay. He answered, “Yup. 100 percent.” Everyone in the room audibly gasped. He went on to answer when asked his name, and to tell us that he was not feeling pain. He was still not moving, his eyes were roving (didn’t seem to be seeing us at all) and he was speaking in a somewhat robotic sounding voice. But for the next several hours, Ryan interacted with us!! He continued to answer questions in an intelligent, cogent manner…astounding the doctors who have an MRI that shows that his brain should not be capable of any speech whatsoever.

When Rob asked him what he wanted, he said, “That is a complicated question.” After Rob had given him a drink of water, and he was able to swallow well, Larissa told him that he had done a good job, and he asked, “Are you being sarcastic?” When the neurologist came in and introduced himself to Ryan, Ryan said, “Whassup?”

It gets even better…God is SO good….when Rob asked Ryan if he knew how proud Rob was of him, he said, “Yes, I know.” And when I told him I loved him, he replied, “I love you, too.” When Larissa expressed her love (Lindsey and Riley were not there at the time), he told her he loved her, then said, “…and Riley, too.” I wish you could see me smiling as I am writing this…how could God have given us a more precious gift? At one point, Rob asked him a question that he used to ask the kids every night before bedtime when they were little..”Who loves you the most?” Ryan answered, “God.”

We were given a gift on Thursday that we will never forget, and will never stop thanking God for, no matter what tomorrow holds. Today Ryan has been only spoken a little bit, and has not made any other neurological improvements. He has been unconscious most of the day. So we are choosing to praise our awesome God for this gift that none of the doctors here can understand or explain, and we are going to take one day at a time, trusting Him to continue to carry us through this. And…God has given us a great deal of peace about trusting our highly skilled team of doctors, who are making the decisions about Ryan’s continuing care.

The best way you can support us is to join us in taking one day at a time…not jumping ahead to predict what God is going to do or not do, but simply being with us in the moment, rejoicing with us that we got to talk with our son, but also knowing that we do not know what tomorrow will hold, so our entire family is feeling very fragile right now. The five of us, thanks to your prayers, are so blessed to be so close to one another, and to be together as we come around Ryan in love…and in grief that he is going through such a traumatic thing. It is hard for all of us to see him unconscious and unable to move his body or to see us…but we are all remembering (thank you, Pastor Steve) that this is God’s story, and, again, He loves Ryan far more than all five of us put together. And if you could feel the love in this room right now, that is an ENORMOUS amount of love, let me tell you.

We are feeling OVERWHELMED by gratitude…our list is so long that I would be up all night writing if I listed everything, but I am going to just tell you the few things that have reminded us of how faithful our God is to us during this extremely difficult time of our lives. And He is using many of you to bless and encourage us…we have been so moved.

  • Our head nephrologist (kidney doctor) actually offered to let us come to her home to shower, sleep and do laundry!!
  • Our head ICU doctor just came upstairs tonight and gave us his personal cell phone number, so that if we have ANY problems on the new floor we are on, we can call him to come and help us even though he is technically not our attending doctor anymore…we are AMAZED at the care we are getting here!).
  • Two of my dear friends, Tracy & Mary, from the place I worked in the late 90’s went to our house and thoroughly cleaned it from top to bottom…which hasn’t been done in…never mind.
  • Five of Rob’s dearest firefighter friends, Paul, Dustin, Doug, Andrew, and Jesse came and did work in our huge forested yard, pressured washed everything, and basically did all the jobs that have been making Rob feel terrible that he was not doing (while he has been making our family healing and reconciliation with Ryan a priority).
  • Someone anonymously dropped off a VERY generous sum of money on two QFC gift cards, which took off a great deal of stress and worry about the money we’ve been having to spend on eating out this week while I am not earning any income.
  • My brother, with whom Ryan is very close, arrived today from California, and has been an incredible help in caring for Ryan, allowing Rob and I to take breaks to talk with doctors or Lindsey, Riley and Larissa. Because he was by the side of two loved ones while they were dying from AIDS, he is, sadly, very comfortable in a hospital setting, and not only extremely loving to Ryan, but very gracious to his nurses, as well. His timing in coming could not have been more perfect. Tomorrow night Rob and I are going to take our first night off and go home together for the evening, and leave Ryan with his Uncle Don, because we know that if Ryan were to wake up with Don here, he would feel completely surrounded by unconditional love (and Don would call us immediately so we could break all speed limits coming back. 🙂
  • Thank you, so much, Don and Leanne H., for coming to sit with Ryan so lovingly so that my Don could go into the family meeting with us…and then staying not only to support us, but to be a huge support to Lindsey, Riley and Larissa…they appreciated it so very much…you have loved them like your own children.
  • Two of our pastors, Chuck and Steve, as well as our dear friend and physician Scott, all came last night to pray with us over Ryan and to help us make sense of what the doctors were saying was a very confusing, upsetting and rather grim day. They were the ones who helped us to “reframe” the day…to realize that even though we had been on a kind of emotional rollercoaster, that we could only choose to view the day as a precious, priceless gift from God…and to treasure it, no matter what the future holds. We do not know, but our faithful God does, and He has ALWAYS carried us through every storm that has come our way, so we KNOW that we can trust Him.
  • Our cherished friends Dave and Sue, who have walked the dark valley of losing a child themselves, have really come alongside us to grieve with us and help bear our burden…as well as bringing us teriyaki chicken for dinner (which made Larissa decide that the Martins were definitely her BEST friends ever).

Thank you for taking the time, if you have read this far…to actually sit through this lengthy, and probably inarticulate retelling of the last 40 or so hours. It helps me to process it all…and I don’t ever want to forget all that God has done to prove His great love for our family…and to show us that He really does walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death.

And thank you SO much to those who have, through Emily, provided us with meals, loaded gift cards, and donated to the benevolent fund that June Blender so kindly set up…well, we cannot begin to thank you. Words will never ever express our appreciation. We are so very aware that we in no way deserve all the love that you are showing us, and will never be able to repay it…and we are overwhelmed by how loving, unselfish and generous our friends are. We are the most blessed, and rich of all families to have friends like you.

I am probably going to get lovingly scolded by my beloved, wonderful husband for staying up so late to finish this, but there is never time in the day to post updates. So I’ll head to bed now, in my recliner chair next to Ryan (he has been quiet, unconscious right next to me the entire time I’ve been writing this…except for a bit of coughing). And as I get ready for bed, my mind is just brimming with all these things I am thanking God for…what a great way to end this day.

We love you ALL. I’ll do my best to post an update this weekend…or especially if anything changes. Again, thank you for your understanding and grace. If you know people who aren’t on FaceBook, but are wanting to know what is going on, if you’d pass this along we’d greatly appreciate it. We just don’t have time to answer text messages, FB messages, phone calls, etc…as much as we’d like to. The doctors keep us very busy, and when we’re not busy with them, we don’t want to miss a minute with Ryan since we don’t know how many more we’ll have left.

Trusting in His grace & mercy,

Rob and Linda

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~ by WriterRand on July 12, 2009.

One Response to “Urgent Ryan Update: The Most Amazing Email I’ve Ever Received”

  1. Wow and wow!

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