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19 Year Old Hopes Community Will Help Him Walk Again

UPublish story by Sherry Gavanditti

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDvv2JT4hbA

Recently Paralyzed 19 Year Old Ryan Reddick Fearless Still

About to Embark on Project Walk

{Ravenna, OH} The look on Tammy Reddick’s face as seen in a Motocross video featuring her paralyzed teenage son Ryan speeding around a motocross course says it all. It was shot a few months after his surgery, which fused some of his vertebrae that were damaged when he crashed the last time he rode. Today, she is a bit more relaxed and filled with hope, thanks to the help and kind hearts of others. Hopefully, this chapter of the Reddick’s story, which began with Ryan becoming paralyzed late in 2011, will end with him standing up from his wheelchair, and supporting himself on his own two legs, once again.

 

Ryan’s nurse, Debbie Fountaine, employed at Menorah Park’s Portage Home Health Services office, has been watching Ryan’s progress with amazement at his positive attitude, strength, and at the possibility of him walking again. When Debbie recently purchased raffle tickets to help the Carter Nedley Foundation, she won a pair of Cleveland Cavaliers tickets, but she kindly offered them to Ryan. He, like most young men his age, enjoys sports, and was thrilled to get the tickets, but he could not help but be concerned about handicap accommodations.

When Menorah Park staff heard about Ryan’s concerns, they wanted to help, and made a call to the Cleveland Cavaliers to explain Ryan’s story. The Cavs wanted Ryan’s experience to be a positive one, so they gave him better tickets, parking, and access to the VIP lounge with more fantastic seats. Ryan took his mom, Tammy, and girlfriend Lindsay. They had a great time, and Ryan later shared the story of his nurse’s kindness that led to attending the game. He was interviewed for the Menorah Park Campus News, and with that interview, a need was realized, one, that if fulfilled, will reveal more compassion, hope, and caring that can make a difference in this young man’s life.

During the interview, it wasn’t the light from the video of him riding his motorcycle that played on the tablet-screen in front him that lit his face. It was his smile. Watching himself do something that others thought he would never do again prompted his mom, Tammy, to wait until the moment was over to remind him that he needs to stay healthy, fit, and uninjured in order to be accepted into “Project Walk”, an intensive physical therapy program in Orlando, Florida, where he believes he can learn to walk again.

 

From his wheelchair at the table in the family kitchen, Ryan and Nurse Debbie discuss Ryan’s journey since partial paralysis. Their warm and honest exchanges reveal a strong bond of caring. We learn that Ryan fractured his T6 and T7 vertebras, and his T4 through his T9 vertebras were fused after the accident, rendering him unable to walk or use his legs. Over time, Ryan miraculously regained slight sensations of touch in his legs, and sees that as a sign that he can—and will walk again.

Now a freshman at Kent State, Ryan is continuing with his life. With what little free time he has, he hangs out with friends, and Nurse Debbie, and works his upper body at the gym to stay strong by lifting weights. He recently surprised his parents by mowing the lawn on a riding mower while they were at work. Still, inside, he struggles with not having the independence he valued so much prior to his accident. What Ryan holds onto though, is the hope that he will regain use of his legs one day, putting his faith in the possibilities of attending “Project Walk” which, by Ryan’s description, is physically intensive but successful for many. He and his family hope to raise another $2000 plus expenses to help him attend, where he is certain he will make amazing progress towards being upright again.

“We’ve always been the ones who would give the clothes off our backs to someone in need. We’ve always been the ones to help others, I don’t know how to ask for help,” Ryan explains. The family has managed to save $3000 so far but is still short the remaining amount. This July marks the deadline for payment.

“Ryan is a wonderful person; a pillar of strength and determination,” explained his mother, Tammy on an older blog post about his accident.

Ryan’s story is far from over. The perfect ending is still in the making. He is a role model to those suffering similar injuries, young and old, and in his own way, he is helping others by remaining positive, strong and determined. Ryan and his family hope that with a little help from the community, he will attend “Project Walk” and learn to walk again. The last three words on one of his YouTube videos, “Ryan Reddick Rides Again” is: “He’ll Be Back.”

To hear more about Ryan, and to see him ride, there is a Motocross video called “Driven to Ride” (the one he was watching during this interview), which can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iItUH51CH0U, or by Googling Ryan Reddick on the internet, or on YouTube.

As a division of Menorah Park Center for Senior Living, Home Health Services four offices including Portage Home Health Services in Streetsboro have the resources of one of Ohio’s largest healthcare organizations. Our local focus emphasizes a personal approach, recognizing individual needs as only a community member can.


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