When it was time for Ryland Ward to go home from University Hospital, where he had been getting treatment — and encouragement from well-wishers around the world — since being rushed there Nov. 5 from the mass shootings in Sutherland Springs, a lot of people came together to make sure that ride was a memorable one.
In a cherry-red firetruck driven by the firefighter who found him among the victims on that terrible day, Ryland smiled and waved. A multi-department police escort led them through the city and back to his hometown, where family and neighbors lined the street to welcome him.
Ryland, who celebrated his 6th birthday in the hospital, was the last of 17 patients brought to University Hospital and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio from the Sutherland Springs shootings to be released.
His story was covered by news organizations around the world as a powerful example of hope, strength and recovery in the face of unimaginable cruelty and violence.
Read the story in the San Antonio Express-News here.
Photo by Mae Darrin, University Health System