Paralyzed College Park High School wrestler regains some movement

Ryan Joseph, a College Park High School sophomore who was paralyzed during a wrestling match earlier this month, has regained some movement in his shoulders and arms, according to school Athletic Director Jim Keck.

Ryan Joseph, who was paralyzed during a high school wrestling match earlier this month, is receiving treatment at a rehabilitation hospital in Denver, Colo.
Ryan Joseph, who was paralyzed during a high school wrestling match earlier this month, is receiving treatment at a rehabilitation hospital in Denver, Colo. (Courtesy of Jim Keck)

Ryan’s condition has improved since he injured his spinal cord during a meet on Jan. 10.

Initially paralyzed from the neck down, Ryan “has good movement in his shoulders, his right arm has partial movement, and his left arm is starting to move,” Keck wrote in an email.

Ryan also has some feeling in his torso and both feet, Keck added. Two weeks ago, doctors at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek performed a tracheotomy to ease Ryan’s breathing while he is on a ventilator.

Ryan and his family will spend at least three months at a rehabilitation hospital in Denver, which specializes in treating patients with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, Keck said.

Volunteers intend to remodel and build a 700-square-foot addition on the Joseph family’s home before they return from Colorado.

“Ryan would like everyone to know how much their love and support means to him,” Keck wrote. He added this quote from the teen: “On my worst days, I think of all of you and I know I will be alright.”

An online GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $162,000 toward the $500,000 goal for the family’s expenses related to Ryan’s medical care and long-term treatment.

Additional ways to help the Joseph family include:

  • A Ride For Ryan Pasta Feed fundraiser: 5-8 p.m. Feb. 5, at College Park High School, 201 Viking Drive, Pleasant Hill. Tickets are $15.
  • Cards and donations may be mailed to: The Joseph Family, c/o Mike Halket, P.O. Box 2122 Dublin, CA 94568

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