By Sue Diviney
“Miracles happen to those who believe in them” – Bernard Berenson
Throughout the past sixteen months, I’ve been faced with the emotional challenge of seeing my healthy, happy son struggle to stay alive after a brutal attack leaving him in a comatose state. Day after day, hour after hour, I tell him how he has a bump on his head and that he is having trouble waking. I tell him he is safe and his body is in great shape. I ask him to squeeze my hand, to turn his head, to wiggle his toe, lift his arm, move his mouth. Anything that would show responsiveness. While it may appear that he doesn’t…at times… he does… but nothing is ever consistent….but, I continue to believe. Why do I believe?
I believe, because it is Ryan. Growing up, Ryan never gave up. It didn’t matter what the odds were. When his football team won only a game or two in his sophomore year, he didn’t quit, he just worked harder. He believed. And yes, they went undefeated in his senior year to win the district title. When he enrolled in a Political Science class at WVU in his freshman year that was failed by a large number of students, he took this as a challenge. Not only did he pass that class with an A, he made the Presidential List passing all classes with an A.
This is Ryan. He takes a challenge and doesn’t give up. So when the doctor said he had 24-48 hours to live, I believe he took this as a challenge and he is fighting to wake up. Fighting to be back with his friends…fighting to go back to WVU…to have a family…to be a dad…to coach his children.
But what else makes me believe? When I come home from work…. Ryan is often sitting in his wheel chair not moving. But when I talk to him or touch him he starts to move. When he is in bed at night I, at times, can get him to move his arms. No it’s not consistent, but he does it sometimes. When Kari, Hannah, and Brian came to visit a couple of weeks ago (see the pics in the gallery), Ryan (yes Ryan) moved his head towards Hannah’s head as she laid next to him on the floor. I didn’t move him that direction. Hannah didn’t. Somehow, Ryan did. Why? Because he’s in there. He’s fighting. He’s not giving up. Nor am I…
“Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it” – Lt. John B. Putnam, Jr.
What do I fear… I fear it will take a long time. I fear that people will give up on him. I fear that some already have. I can see it in your eyes. The pain when you talk to me, the pain when you look at Ryan. I feel it too, but he needs us, he needs you. We both need you. Please don’t give up. Please believe in Ryan. Please talk to him…tell him stories of the good times, talk to him about what you are doing now. He’s in there. He needs you. When Kari, Hannah & Brian visited he was so relaxed. This isn’t a coincidence. This was him recognizing his close friends and sister were with him. He needs you.
“Out of difficulties grow miracles” – Jean de la Bruyere
I am waiting for my miracle. I know it will come. I can’t give up. I won’t. I’m a mom…we never give up on our children. I will always believe.