Last May, life changed in an instant for Ryan and his family. One Saturday afternoon after soccer practice, he was walking with his mom and brother to check out the soccer store near where they live when suddenly, a car drove up onto the sidewalk, hitting him and sending him flying through the glass window of a neighbouring business. He was rushed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital by EMS while his mom Gail called her husband, who coincidentally was in a training course to become an EMT at the time. As a former nurse at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Gail has always known the state-of-the-art facility to be a special place. It’s even closer to her heart now after the exceptional family-centred care her son received during his seven-week stay.

Soon after he arrived in the ER at the Children’s, Ryan had a CT scan to determine if he had any internal bleeding or head injury and thankfully, he didn’t have either. He was, however, whisked into surgery to clean out lacerations on his back and skin loss from behind his knees. He also suffered a broken femur for which orthopedic surgeons placed a plate and six pins into the bone. He also broke his pelvis in several places, requiring him to wear an external stabilizer to hold it in place. Because the accident tore off his skin down to the bone behind his knees, Ryan also was helped by Dr. Frankie Fraulin with the Plastic Surgery department, who took skin and muscle grafts from Ryan’s thigh and attached to the damaged tissues. During the next seven weeks of his recovery, Ryan underwent physiotherapy once a day to help regain his strength in his legs and pelvis. He went from sitting up only two days after his surgery, to using a walker in only a couple of weeks! Throughout his stay, Ryan benefitted from donor-funded Childlife programs that aim to ease the stress associated with hospital stays and turn therapy into play. He also got to hang out with donor-funded Medi Robot who helped him through a number of procedures, including an IV start. Even though Ryan has had to limit some activities like soccer and swimming while he keeps up with dressing changes and his physiotherapy, he’s enjoying life at home with family and friends.

Ryan’s family are so grateful to everyone – from the trauma team, to Plastic and Orthopedic Surgeons, to physiotherapists and Childlife therapists — who helped him get back on his feet!

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