I received an email yesterday that I’d like to share with everyone. But first, there are some text messages leading up to it. These are only slightly edited to protect the sender’s information (or correct a typo). It also seems a good time to let everyone know that I make myself available for text messages and emails at any time. Please feel free to send me a message. Even just hearing a “Still here keeping Ryan relevant!” is uplifting and appreciated. Don’t forget to tell me who you are (if you want, that is), otherwise I will only know you as your phone number.
Okay, first the text messages:
3/25/13, 3 days ago
Then her email arrived. Here it is:
Good morning Ken,
This is [Name] from Cincinnati. I texted you the other day. Again, I want you to know how much this story has touched my heart. To see you all pull together, and totally change your lives is amazing! Like I mentioned, I see things of this nature on a daily basis. But never, do we see a family take over, and be as strong, and motivating as you all have!
I do remember hearing about Ryan on our local news. Again, my prayers are with you everyday. I started here in the Surgical and Trauma ICU at [the] Hospital in 2005. I was XX years old, and from a small community outside of the city. I was in a new world when I started here! I was totally ignorant to the hate some people manifest within themselves. Especially to do harm to others and walk around the community “playing God” if you will. (I’m referring to the gangs and violence)
On a warm day here, it is totally expected to get a shooting victim in the early morning hours. Usually a male between the age of 14-25. Then, by the afternoon, we will receive 2 or more shooting victims. 95% of the time, it’s a retaliation. I use to feel so sorry for everyone involved in this circle of madness in this city… but then I realized, its a way of life for most. At age 14 young males here have to deal drugs to survive and support their parents (if they even have living parents) and sometimes, their families, if they have had children already.
My idea that I want to share with you is simply…..only my idea (from my heart). I want you to know first and foremost, what Austin and Jonathan did is ABSOLUTELY inexcusable and totally heartless! Yes, they both deserve whatever God may seem fit for them! Legal punishment isn’t enough.
Unfortunately they both don’t have to see what they have done to someone everyday; of course through legal documents, news, and possibly pictures. But they both have never had to meet Ryan face-to-face, besides that initial night have they? I know that both boys deserve NO mercy from anyone! Especially Ryan! (Sorry if this all seems out of whack, I told you its hard to explain in words).
I feel Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May would suffer the consequences more…. if they had to meet you and Ryan (through a thick glass wall of course 🙂 for their sake!). If Austin and Jonathan had to actually face the consequences their actions caused on one’s life, and family…. I honestly believe in my heart, that this will be a justice Ryan deserves. Yes Austin should remain in prison and doesn’t deserve to roam free.
But a HUGE , HUGE part of me believes Ryan is here alive and with his family for a reason. You all have touched so many lives! I never bother people with things like this or randomly voice my opinion when its not asked for…. but something inside of me the other day when I read your daughters post made me feel like I had to share this with you. I’m not sure who on my face book shared her story, but I want you to know tears ran down my face.
I was not brought up in a religious family, but now at age XX I have been searching for this void I have in my life. Over the past years I have found myself silently praying for complete strangers… whether is be for their quick recovery from something, or for their families pain and suffering. So I guess what I am trying to say is that maybe you will find justice and some sort of peace in your heart if you made Austin and Jonathan physically see exactly what their actions did that night…face-to-face.
Please don’t curse me the moment you read this, because my intentions are totally for your broken hearts. Austin deserves to sit in that prison for his full and maximum sentence; no questions asked! It would be even more hell if he had to meet Ryan… and then go back to his prison cell and think about him day and night. I feel — well, I hope — the families’ reasoning for not coming to you directly is an act of #1… totally disbelief that their sons were capable of doing such an evil thing, #2 the fear of facing you guys and completely understanding the damages done, and finally, #3 they may not know how, and are to filled with hidden grief to come forward.
Again, this is my opinion based on my experiences with thousands of families that have been in here with their loved ones, and the consequences of the actions of the event. Whether it be their 16 year old who was severally intoxicated while driving with a car full of people, who totally walked away uninjured from a tragic crash that left 2 dead and two injured for life. Or a jealous, crazy husband who attempted to kill his wife in front of his kids, then proceeded to kill himself, but his wife survived. I have seen both sides of that family, and the hate they now have for each other because they just have no idea as to what caused this. All they know is one angry person is dead, and innocent lives are changed forever.
I think I will end my mini “book” here and hope that I have somewhat explained my opinion of a different kind of justice for Ryan. One that should break those 2 boys hearts and ideally let them also be trapped in a hell that is more aggressive and appropriate for them (real life images in their head), as well as the shit road they chose for themselves the night they hurt 2 innocent guys over some bullshit argument.
I see miracles happen all the time. Please know, there is no time limit on them! 3 days, 3 years, 5 years… no matter what the circumstances are, or what medical staff say about an injury. Our trauma staff, neuro staff, cardiac staff and oncology staff have seen miracles happen that no medical text, 20 years of experience, or God himself can explain. Love and patience heals. If you get anything out of my attempted rant here (lol)… please just know that nothing is impossible… no matter what!
Thank you for everything! For sharing your story, your day-to-day life, Ryan’s continued progress, and your feelings. I will continue to read the blogs and progress. Also, I will sign the petition.
Don’t lose hope! And don’t stop pushing Ryan everyday. I know he’s in there… the same Ryan he was before this, just in different circumstances for the time-being. He wouldn’t still be here today, if it weren’t for a promising reason.
Forever sending prayers your way,[Signed]
What I enjoy and appreciate about her words are the heartfelt emotions. I’m not necessarily saying I agree with how Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May would react to seeing Ryan, but I like hearing another’s take on it. It makes me think. It shows people empathize and Ryan touches them at a deep level. For me, it is important to know people appreciate my posts. That I made a connection between them and Ryan. That they take the time to write an email to me or comment below a post.
That Ryan remains relevant!
Real and raw… that’s how many describe my writing style. I love that characterization! I really do. Even when I’m crude, obnoxious, sad, angry, or hopeful you find a way to accept me. No matter my “mood of the day” I promise I am always honest and tell the exact truth… as I understand it, anyway. Otherwise, it’s just my opinion and I don’t mind sharing it one iota.