Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Monday night while we were stretching his legs before bed, Ryan  said, "Won't it be nice when I can move my toes?"- and then he did it! Can you believe it?! From all we have heard, it is so early to be moving his toes, so we were not expecting it. The best part is that some things he can do one day, not the next, but that has not been the case for his toes. He can still move them on demand. To us this is just what was needed to keep us going!!  We definitely have our ups and downs, but we continue to celebrate the successes however small they may be.

Thank you for the sending the pictures wearing "Ryan's Army #14" bracelets! It continues to amaze us how far Ryan's story has reached. He definitely feels the love and support! And though he's not the best at responding, he still loves hearing from you.

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Ryan had another great PT session yesterday. When he first got on the stim bike he was able to push down on the pedal with his left foot for one rotation-- without stim! The absolute joy on his face brought us to tears. He was hooked up to stim immediately afterwards and rode for four miles this time- more than the week before. Purchasing one of these bikes for him when we return home is a must!  Even the glimmers of movement he had in his legs hours after he got off the bike were so encouraging! We're just taking one day at a time, remaining very hopeful, and trusting the journey.....

Things have been busy at the house as we prepare for his return home in probably four to six weeks.  It's hard to coordinate renovations when we're so far away, but thankfully we have many amazing friends helping in the planning/preparation for the addition of his accessible apartment. 

As he sits outside in the sunshine today laughing with his buddies, I can't help but think about how fortunate he is (we all are!!) to have such an incredible support system surrounding us during this very difficult time. We could not do this without you!  

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

It's only our eighth day at Kessler and we are seeing improvement in Ryan's overall energy and mobility. He's definitely stronger and able to get around much easier than when he arrived! OT sessions continue to focus on independence and PT sessions focus on stretching/working his muscles.  The equipment he has access to here is just amazing. The other day during PT they hooked him up to a machine and stimmed his leg muscles and he was able to ride a bike for 3 1/2 miles! Granted we know that this was a machine making his legs move, but it was still pretty incredible. He is almost independent at sitting himself up from lying on his side and is almost independent at using his hands to lift his own legs to move them (which is a feat in itself because he's got some pretty heavy legs!!). He's also graduated from an electric wheelchair to a manual, lightweight wheelchair because he has the upper body strength to maneuver it.  All baby steps heading us in the right direction. 

Ry has a quote by Christian D Larson hanging in his room that says "There's something inside you that's greater than any obstacle". I truly believe there's something inside RYAN that's greater than any obstacle. He's going to get there, it's just going to take time.  Please keep praying and sending him positive messages. He loves to hear from you! 

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

It's only our third day at Kessler and things are going well. He's out of bed for most of the day now. You should see him navigate around this facility in his motorized wheelchair! He may have banged up a few walls on his travels😳 , but man, he can fly!  His main goal right now is to strengthen his core.  It's challenging, but he's getting there! The days fly by with his busy schedule:
Up at 9:00 ish, then breakfast
OT 10:30-12:00
Back to the room for lunch, rest
2:30-4:00 PT
Dinner, free time afterwards
Bed at 10:00ish
He's met some other kids his age who are in here for similar reasons and others with like injuries who are well into the recovery process.  He spoke with someone today who is a year out from a similar neck injury and walks almost independently, using a cane for assistance. Their stories give him something to work for. 

If you want to reach out to Ryan, we are asking that mail be sent to the house we are staying at:
Ryan Maloney
c/o The Telescos
241 Mountain Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

We are so appreciative of all the love and support. Keep praying and sending positive thoughts his way!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

We arrived at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation at about 6:00 last night.  It's hard to believe we've only been here a little over 24 hours--so much has happened already! Ryan's team of doctors are simply amazing. His head physiatrist, Dr Nieves, is a perfect match for him and his OTs and PTs really care and want him to do well. He's had 1 1/2 hours each of OT and PT today and a (much needed) bath!!  In between OT /PT sessions he went by wheelchair to the dining hall to grab some lunch.  Today's tests showed some positive indicators again (Ry and Dr Nieves were cheering and high-fiving), so the fight continues! I have to admit, this move was a scary/emotional one for all of us, but we did it. We'd become comfortable in our old home and grew close with everyone there, but now that we're settled in to our new home, we are very optimistic for what lies ahead. As I keep saying, NO ONE is more determined than Ryan right now. Bring it on!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Today was a pretty mellow day.  We are so ready to get to Kessler!!! We re-sorted what we need to take to Kessler and what’s going home, then packed the car this morning. Not sure what time we’re leaving, so we just want to be prepared. He’s been hanging out in his recliner for most of the day watching Wimbledon, playing euchre, and chatting with his buddies. Another spine surgeon (a friend of the Telescos and one of the surgeons that’s been consulting with our surgeon)  came in to do some tests on him today and he was really, really encouraged by what Ry was able to do. He says he is reacting in ways that are very positive signs for recovery. That said, recovery happens at about 1 mm/day, so, with our very tall son, it’ll be a while. He’s in a good place, though. Of course there’s been some tears, but there’s a lot more laughs & smiles.

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

FINALLY HE SLEPT!!! I can honestly say that last night was the first night he has had more than two consecutive hours of sleep since we've been here. It's been crazy. Between the frequent doctor checks, the beeping of the machines, and the discomfort,  it's been really challenging to get any kind of significant rest. But last night was different-- he slept for a solid eight hours. What a relief! Overall it was a good day, but we're kind of at a stand-still here  he can't wait to get to Kessler and get to work!

Coach Milliman came to visit today. Before leaving he gave Ryan the very special Cornell Hard Hat. We were humbled by the gift and all that it represents and will keep it by his side on this journey.

Thank you for all of the supportive texts and emails.  Please keep praying and sending positive thoughts his way!!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

More good news today! Ryan had a test called the ASIA test, a system of tests used to define the extent and severity of the patient's spinal cord injury and help determine future rehabilitation and recovery needs.  To be honest, his physiatrist said he was so nervous leading up to the exam because he thought he was going to have to look Ryan in the eye and deliver grim news about his recovery. Thankfully that was NOT  the case!! In layman's terms he found that all circuits are firing, meaning Ryan responded to the tests in ways that indicate that the nerves are in tact and able to talk to the muscles, even if it's ever so slightly right now. We still need the swelling to go down and the bruising to heal, but the rest of what happens from here on out is up to Ryan and how hard he wants to work!! We're keeping it simple-- setting a small goal and working toward it. Once it's met, we'll move on to another small goal. Day by day, one small accomplishment after another, he WILL get there!! Words cannot express how relieved this made all of us feel. 

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

I cannot believe I’m saying this but today was actually a pretty amazing day!!  So, so many good things happened I don’t know where to begin!! 

All of Ry's tubes have been removed! He only has an IV for some nerve pain he’s having but other than that he is all ready to leave ICU. He would have left the ICU floor today, but the floor he’s supposed to be going to to await transfer to Kessler is full. It's not a bad thing to be where we are— we're getting “ICU level treatment” by default. 

The physical therapists are kicking his butt and he just keeps asking for more. Using the pull up bar installed over his bed he can totally lift himself up about 2 feet off his back. Yesterday it was barely an inch. He never stops PT-ing! He also started using a transfer board-once again using his very strong arms and core -to move from side to side on the bed.

To top the whole day all off, Ryan received two pieces of good news: one from Credit Suisse and one from Coach Milliman on behalf of Cornell. The whole Credit Suisse team has just been amazing. All of the interns Ryan worked with put together a video for him that he watched today. It was the first time I've seen him smile and laugh out loud since we've been here (thank you all!!). Later on in the day we received a call from Coach Milliman saying that he had been in contact with the Dyson School staff and they said that Ryan will walk for graduation next year no matter what!! He only needs 24 more credits to graduate and we may need to be creative with the format of some of his classes, but they will work with us to make it happen. What a relief! Thank you, Coach Milli!!
We are just so, so lucky!! (Yes, I said lucky!!) We have been so well taken care of by our friends it's unbelievable!! Telescos and Fletchers- we could no do this without you!! We’ve had meals delivered to us around the clock -and when I say meals I mean MEALS! Two days of lobster rolls and crab cakes, flank steaks, mid-day ice cream runs (Ry requesting hot fudge sundaes 😊), and tonight’s  dinner was a catered meal that  included salmon, shrimp, chicken, and cannolis (one of Ry's favorite desserts). He even got homemade Captain Crunch French toast delivered to him today!! Ry knows he is VERY LOVED!

He has read all of his texts, he’s seen and read his Gofundme, and he saw the Inside Lacrosse article. He actually sent his first text tonight- a text to Coach Stevens with a picture of him working out. 😉  I think he’s in a good place right now. This is absolutely not any road we wanted to take but we have no choice. It's time to put our big boy boots on and start fighting! I’m so proud of J and Megs- John too, but J and Megs are absolutely amazing. They have dropped everything to be with Ry and don't plan on leaving any time soon-- they too are in this for the long run. 

Keep praying and sending positive thoughts!!

Journal entry by John & Michele Maloney

Thank you to all those that have been reaching out to Ryan. We gave him his phone today so he could read through his texts/listen to his messages and he was overwhelmed with emotion.  He is definitely loved!!  Today was a great day. He sat in a recliner for most of the afternoon and even had a chance to watch his cousin play in a lacrosse game on tv. Most of his tubes have come out now as we begin to prepare for the transfer. His appetite is coming back too. He sent us out for hot fudge sundaes and pasta carbonara. Many of you have been asking to come see him, but we are trying to hold out until he gets out of ICU. I hope you understand. Keep praying-- he'll keep fighting!!

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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