Boy shot in Texas church massacre will finally leave hospital today

13 January, 2018, 03:39 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Melissa Salinas and her family and friends decorated a truck to welcome Ryland Ward home from the hospital. Terrie Smith right and other neighbors peer down the road in anticipation of his arrival Jan. 11

A young boy who was shot in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church massacre returned home on a fire truck Thursday after being hospitalized for more than two months. 26 people died from the November 5 shooting, including Ward's stepmother and two sisters, ages 5 and 7.

Ward was transported by the same firefighter who met him that awful day that Devin Kelley, 26, walked into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and opened fire on the approximately 50-member congregation.

Ward is one of the youngest survivors of the worst church shooting in US history in which a deranged gunman killed 26 members of the First Baptist Church congregation.

Volunteer firefighter Rusty Duncan, a first responder that day, rescued Ryland as he scoured church pews for victims who were still alive.

Ryland went through extensive recovery after being shot five times in the arm, leg and stomach. "I rolled her over and grabbed him and started running outside with him".

"The whole time I was with him, he was conscious and staring up at me".




Duncan said he is overwhelmed by the support for the idea.

"He asked me to go faster, he asked me if the siren could be louder, and he wanted me to blow the horn more", Duncan said. "Of course with my help, but he walked".

According to University Hospital, Ryland was the facility's final patient from the Sutherland Springs shooting.

"It's just a miracle he survived and is doing as well as he is", she said.

Today, Ryland was discharged from the hospital and was treated with a special ride home in a firetruck. Ward isn't just any 6-year-old, and it wasn't just any trip home.

Community members were on hand to welcome him as he passed through town. He has been obtaining physical therapy, and was promised a fire truck ride home upon his release.

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