ABC News reports that now six-year-old Ryland Ward has miraculously fought to survive after receiving multiple gunshot wounds.
Volunteer firefighter Rusty Duncan was one of the first responders to the church shooting and recalls finding Ryland. Duncan said he walked through the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church and “started checking for people’s pulses. That's where Ryland's hand reached out from under his stepmom and grabbed my pant leg. I rolled her over and grabbed him and started running outside with him."
"As soon as we got him outside, his dad [Chris Ward] ran up to me and said, 'They killed my baby,’ Duncan continued. "And I told his dad, 'No, he's not dead, he's still alive.’”
Sadly, Ryland’s stepmother, Joann Lookingbill Ward, and his two sisters, Brooke Bryanne Ward, 5, and Emily Garcia, 7, lost their lives in the shooting.
Ryland has been undergoing multiple surgeries over the past few months, but is finally in a condition to return home.
"He's doing great," Duncan said. "He walked for me for the first time. Of course with my help, but he walked."
Ryland’s grandmother Sandy Ward added, "It's just a miracle he survived and is doing as well as he is. We're just excited to get him to come home."
Photo courtesy: GoFundMe
Publication date: January 11, 2018
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.