He's A Hero, And We Have To Fight To Take Care Of Him




 
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He's A Hero, And We Have To Fight To Take Care Of Him
 
May 27th, 2007  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: He's A Hero, And We Have To Fight To Take Care Of Him


He's A Hero, And We Have To Fight To Take Care Of Him
New York Daily News
May 27, 2007 By Tina Moore, Daily News Staff Writer
Sobs punctuated former Marine Christopher Ryan's sentences as he deplored the military's treatment of his 23-year-old son, Eddie.
"We had to take him out of the VA hospital," Ryan said, struggling to stifle his emotions. "He sat in his own feces and he had a bedsore. It was horrible."
The experiences the Ellenville, N.Y., family had at the McGuire Hunter Veterans Affairs hospital in Richmond, Va., never made the national news - neither have the battles they continue fighting to get the brain-injured veteran needed care.
Ryan was a gung-ho teenager who wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. He was on lookout on a rooftop on April 13, 2005, when he was struck by two .30-caliber rounds - fired from an American tank.
Ryan stopped breathing, but his fellow Marines carried him to safety, his father said. He was revived and taken in a Humvee to a helicopter.
The first time Christopher and Angie Ryan saw their son he was lying in a hospital bed on life-support and in a coma in Germany.
"The only way we recognized him was his tattoos," his father said, quoting a tattoo that reads "Land of The Free Because of The Brave."
Doctors at the military hospital in Germany asked the couple if they would donate their son's organs.
The family prayed.
Within a month, Ryan was conscious and breathing.
But the family had difficulty getting overburdened nurses at the Richmond hospital to provide their son with the care he needed. "My wife lived with my son for 116 days," Christopher Ryan said. "She wouldn't leave him."
The family began a letter-writing campaign, and was given permission to move Ryan to a private hospital near Ellenville.
Finally, in August 2006, the Ryans brought Eddie home.
Their battle wasn't over, however.
Initial reports that he had been hit by enemy fire fell apart when the military acknowledged that he was injured by friendly fire.
"Everyday is a fight with the military," Ryan said angrily. "He's a hero, and we have to fight to get what we need to take care of him."
His dad said the physical therapy the military pays for - 45 minutes per day - isn't enough. The family sinks deeper in debt by paying for private help.
Eddie Ryan recently began speaking in full sentences.
"He's asking for more therapy," Christopher Ryan said. "This kid gave his life for his country."