A little boy who’s been in the hospital since a devastating November shooting is going home. “He just – he couldn’t believe how many people were there with him”, Duncan said. “That’s when I moved her and saw him”. A gunman opened fire on the congregation, taking 26 lives, including those of Ryland’s stepmother JoAnn Ward and siblings Brooke Ward, 5, and Emily Garza, 7, and injuring several others, including Ryland.
Stockdale Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Duncan was there on Ward’s worst day.
“The whole time I was with him, he was conscious and staring up at me”.
“He’s a character”, Duncan said. “So, I looked down and it was a little arm. Even when I was giving up … just thinking about him and being around him makes me smile”, he added. “People at the hospital were nice and everything, but he turned 6 years old and had Christmas in there, and he just wanted to get out and get back to being kid”, Earl McMahan, Ward’s great-uncle, told UPI.
The “fighting spirit” turned 6 while he was in the hospital.
“He loved every minute of the firetruck”, Duncan said after dropping Ryland off at home.
According to University Hospital, Ryland was the facility’s final patient from the Sutherland Springs shooting.
They lined the streets on the way to Sutherland Springs to cheer him on as he made his way down the highway.
“It’s just a miracle he survived and is doing as well as he is”, she said.
When the boy was healthy enough to come home, Duncan gave him a ride.
“Welcome home!” they screamed as the police escort – and finally the firetruck carrying Ryland – arrived in town.
“Hey everyone! Ryland is getting out of the hospital This Thursday and I’ll be picking him up in our Big Red Fire Truck like he wants!”