Ryan, 16, lost control of his vehicle while trying to avoid a bicyclist on Gayton Road in Henrico County on November 8, 2017.

“I remember swerving past the biker and there was another car coming in the lane so I had to swerve back into my lane,” recalled Ryan. “I remember losing control of the wheel, hitting the mailbox and then hitting the tree.”

Ryan said two motorists, who he now considers his “angels,” came to his rescue and called 911.

“When I was hanging out the window, I knew something was wrong because I couldn’t feel anything in my shoulders – I just couldn’t feel anything,” said Ryan.

Ryan suffered several broken vertebrae in his neck and severe spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis of his hands and legs. His C3, C4, C7, and T2 vertebrae were all damaged.

After a week-long stay at VCU Medical Center, Ryan was moved to the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Center at VCU where he went through physical and occupational therapy.

Ryan’s mom said, “We don’t know the reason yet, but Ryan’s accident happened for a reason. After seeing pictures of his car there is a reason Ryan is here. He is going to make good on his promise to touch lives in some way but hasn’t figured out exactly how yet.”

For Ryan, it’s as simple as just throwing a smile on his face.

“There’s no point in being negative,” said Ryan. “That doesn’t do anything for you. When you’re positive and have a good mindset only good things will come.” Ryan is positive he’ll be able to walk and swim again one day.

Ryan’s Numotion ATP, Christopher, had the opportunity to work with him during his rehabilitation at VCU and onwards. Christopher was able to help him get his independent mobility back with a power wheelchair. He also helped loan him a standing frame to use.

“I’m thrilled to say that Ryan no longer needs the standing frame as he is now able to stand on his own,” said Christopher. “He has made an amazing recovery and still continues to make improvements! Working with Ryan has been an absolute pleasure and I wish him and his family all the best!”