High School Wrestler Enjoys A Sandwich After Injury Left Him Paralyzed From Neck Down

Date February 19, 2018

Remember the College Park High School student who suffered a spinal cord injury during a wrestling match in early January?

He is now breathing on his own and recently had his first solid meal since the tragic accident, according to College Park Athletic Director Jim Keck.

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Making progress

16-year-old sophomore Ryan Joseph is currently being treated at Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Craig Hospital is a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital that exclusively specializes in the neuro-rehabilitation and research of patients with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.

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Spirit of a fighter

Ryan is now on day six of unassisted breathing and had his first solid food yesterday. Who would have thought that eating a sandwich, fries, and a Coke could bring so much joy!

On Saturday, 24th February, Ryan will be holding a Skype session during the opening ceremonies of the Diablo Athletic League Wrestling Championships at Alhambra High School, in Martinez, according to Keck.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help Ryan and his family with medical expenses, rehabilitation, and home accessibility.

It runs in the blood

The 16-year-old Pleasant Hill athlete comes from a family of wrestlers. He is being treated at the John Muir Trauma intensive care unit in Walnut Creek with a C4 spinal cord injury. Joseph has undergone three surgeries but is in good spirits.

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RedStarLacrosse / YouTube

Ryan is a first-year JV wrestler who weighs 160 pounds and was captain of the lacrosse team. His father, Tom Joseph, coached at De La Salle High School, and his uncle, Mike Halket, was a wrestling coach at Dublin High School.

His mother, Kirstin Joseph, is a UC Berkley alum, and his sister is an eighth-grader at Pleasant Hill Elementary School.

RedStarLacrosse / YouTube

Meanwhile, his family says he has appreciated all the cards and messages that have come his way to the hospital.

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