Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

With 2019 (thankfully) behind us, we are beyond thrilled to share that Ryan is healthy, recovering remarkably well, and headed back to Cornell next week to finish out his senior year! The journey has not been an easy one, but we were very fortunate to have the support of many incredible people along the way. The texts, calls, meals, gifts, visits, cards, and other kind gestures meant more than you will ever know. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU! Happy New Year!! Here’s hoping for a healthy 2020!!
The Maloneys

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Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

The rate of improvement in Ryan’s mobility is absolutely unbelievable! At this point he no longer uses the wheelchair or walker and primarily gets around using his cane. He’s actually been venturing off without any supports at all recently (for short distances)! We are very fortunate to have been given access to this incredible “walking training” equipment and latest in technology called Safe Gait Active & Infinadeck by Gorbel, a Victor-based company that actually developed the products.  The staff there has been so supportive of our goal and has graciously opened their training facility to us. With this addition, he has the perfect regimen now: Strong for OT and PT two days per week, Nazareth's PT clinic one day a week, Gorbel’s Safe Gait & Infinadeck two days per week, the gym many days a week, and home exercise constantly. It's a lot but he's definitely seeing the results of his hard work! 

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Well, he did it! Ryan returned to Cornell last weekend to see his teammates and coaches. If you haven't seen the video, it was an incredible moment:

While he was there he also returned the hard hat, telling the team that he was extremely honored to have it with him during the rough times. It brought him all the positive energy and determination he needed to get through his challenges, but now it was time to get it back home to Cornell where it belonged.

He’s doing better and better each day- and it’s “only” been 11 weeks today!! We are counting our blessings! 

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Ryan continues to work hard each & every day! It’s amazing to see how much progress he’s made even in the two short weeks we’ve been home. He’s much more stable and comfortable using his walker and has even dabbled with a cane!! Fortunately we’ve  found other ways to supplement his two days/week of OT & PT. He joined Nazareth College’s PT Clinic which he’ll attend one day a week and then on the “off” days he’s been going to our friends’ gym that they’ve kindly given him unlimited access to. There’s not much down- time for him, but it’s paying off!! Thank you ALL for your continued support!! ❤️❤️

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

We're home! It feels so good to be back! We left New Jersey Wednesday afternoon for our new temporary home, a nearby handicapped accessible apartment, where we plan to stay for the next few months while Ryan recovers. It's perfect--open, all on one floor, and plenty of room.  We've had quite a bit of "together time" over the past couple of months, sharing a small room in the rehab center, so I'm sure Ryan is very appreciative of his own space! The move has been a bit of a whirlwind between unpacking, organizing, managing meds, and setting up equipment.  It was a godsend that our friends moved the furniture & set up the kitchen in advance for us-- one less big thing we had to worry about!

Ryan had his first PT & OT session on Friday and he likes both of his therapists. It's definitely a change from Kessler where he received three hours of therapy five days a week. He's currently only scheduled for two hours of therapy at Strong two days/week, so we're doing as much walking and strengthening as we can at home while we try to figure out what else we need to do to supplement his program. He's come so far from when he moved his toes a month ago! Two weeks ago he had to be assisted by three PTs to take steps behind the walker, now he can use the walker on his own (we follow behind him with the wheelchair) to get from room to room.  He is also able to hold onto a railing and go up a few steps at a time! His progress is remarkable. Then again, he's working at it non-stop! At 11:00 when we can't see straight, Ryan's still asking, "Anyone want to walk with me?"

His online classes have begun, so that will occupy some time as well. Of course there's no doubt he'd rather be back at school, but so far it's not too bad living with mom & dad (it's early!). Days are busy and focused on rehab, recovery, and weight gain (he's lost over 30 pounds). I'm sure that over the next couple of weeks we'll establish our routine, our new normal. We're not nurses or PTs, this is all new to us. We're just taking it day by day and doing the best we can!  

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Well, it happened again! Thursday insurance notified us that it was time for us to go. Our physiatrist at Kessler once again appealed insurance's decision and thankfully our stay was extended. We are well aware that this pattern will not continue much longer, though. We just want Ryan to be able to receive as much intensive therapy as he can before that time comes. It's almost been two months since we arrived in New Jersey and though we have been very fortunate to have incredible physical therapy, occupational therapy, and support from friends during our stay, but we're getting a little homesick.  

When we return home we have arranged to temporarily move into a handicapped accessible apartment not too far from home-- one where Ryan is able to get himself around easily. Our house is just not set up for him as he is now. Thank God for our friends and family who have all been helping prepare the new apartment for our return! 

Ryan continues to work hard. He's using his feet to pedal around the room in his chair at all hours of the night! His transfers (in/out of bed and in/out of the wheelchair) are much smoother for him now, and he's taking more & more steps with less assistance while using a walker. It's amazing to think that his first step behind a walker was only ten days ago. His legs and core are definitely getting stronger and much more able to support him while standing.

Ry is absolutely using every ounce of inner strength he possesses to continue to fight! Please keep praying!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Through all of the ups and downs and continuous struggles, remarkably Ryan remains steady. This past weekend was a tough one that completely rocked us to the core. We were told at noon on Friday that our time at Kessler was over and we had to go home. Totally caught off-guard and unprepared, we tried any options we had. First was a conversation between insurance and Kessler which did not change the decision, so a letter to appeal the decision had to be written before the close of business the same day. After waiting all weekend not knowing if we had to leave or not, we got word yesterday morning that the decision was overturned and Ryan could have more time. That was just what we wanted to hear! There is no doubt he is making great progress, but there are still a few things that need to get worked out before he can go home. Not only has he been sick, but we're still trying to figure out the logistics of where we are going/ what we need to do when we leave Kessler. The panic actually forced us to get organized and we did a lot of "just in case" practicing. He practiced getting in & out of our car and getting up and down stairs (all with assistance, but still, he's doing it). He's taking more and more steps with a walker now too-- each day gets a little better. 

As all of his buddies stop by to say goodbye before heading back to school, I know Ryan looks so forward to being with them again. He is determined to make it back to Cornell to enjoy his senior year-- and we remain hopeful that he is able to do that.  Please keep praying!!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Today marks the one month mark since we arrived at Kessler and we are shaking our heads in absolute amazement at the progress Ryan has made in such a "short" period of time. When he arrived at Kessler on July 15th he was, for the most part, flat on his back with no movement below his waist. Yesterday, one month into his rehabilitation, he pushed himself up from a seated position to standing behind a walker and took his first steps ! There was assistance from his OT and PTs, but he did it! Each day has been a progression toward this moment-- from lessening the capabilities of the wheelchair (now he has a lightweight one with no power assistance), to practicing standing using slant boards and standing frames, to doing many exercises to strengthen his core. He is definitely on the road to recovery.  We look forward to seeing how much more progress he can make in his remaining time here! With his determination, the possibilities are endless! Keep praying!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how you react to it. Ryan's reaction to this awful situation has been nothing short of amazing.  His determination and optimism have never wavered. He has twenty OT and PT sessions under his belt and is making incredible progress. He still works on strengthening his core, gaining independence, and riding the stim bike.  This week he has tried standing using various equipment like a standing frame and physical therapy parallel bars. The more he tries it, the better he gets! 

We are sad we are not able to be in Lake Placid on our annual family vacation this week and are missing all of our friends terribly.  Ryan sent J and Megs, telling them they had to go, take a break from here, and have some fun. It's definitely hard not being there, but we will be back next year!!

Please keep praying and sending positive vibes-- they're working!!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

One month ago today we received the phone call no parent ever wants to receive. One month ago today our lives changed drastically. One month ago today Ryan began the toughest fight of his life. It's been so hard to gauge time. On one hand it seems like an eternity has passed since we've been home, yet on the other hand it seems like he's making tremendous progress in a short period of time. He continues to get stronger and regain more motion every day while also gaining more independence. When laying in bed with his leg hanging over the side, he is now able to lift it to bed-height and repeat the motion. It's not easy and it takes great deal of focus and concentration, but he's doing it.  

He had a surprise visit from his dogs this weekend. 😊 It had been two months since he had seen them last and I don't know who was happier to see who! To watch Gunner curled up on his lap made everyone smile. It was not only therapeutic for him, but for other patients here as well.

There is nothing we wouldn't do to make this all better for him, but sometimes life gives you challenges you just can't get away from.  Despite the ongoing struggles, Ryan continues to remain positive and hopeful. I truly believe that with his "never give up" mentality he can and will persevere and come out stronger and better for it. Please keep praying!!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Ryan suffered a spinal cord injury on Friday night 7/5 while enjoying time with his friends at the Jersey Shore. He was rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center and received emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his spinal cord and realign the C6 and C7 vertebrae.The medical diagnosis is a bilateral C6-7 facet dislocation of his cervical spine with an incomplete spinal cord injury.  Since then, Ryan has had no movement in his legs, but has maintained  sensation below his waist. As you can imagine, we are all beyond devastated. Our family just has not been able to catch a break lately. Though it pains me to put into words, I hope to use this site as a way to keep everyone updated at once because although all the texts and calls are incredible, it's really difficult to keep up with the communication. I truly believe he has the best team of doctors working on him. It's just a waiting game now. Please keep Ry in your thoughts and pray for his recovery.

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Ryan’s Story

Site created on July 8, 2019

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