Posted on Leave a comment

A Message on Ryan’s Gratitude for Life

An open space with tables and chairs.

By Ryan Wilson

Team Trust

Recently, I came across this picture.

I haven’t seen it since I was in the hospital last year.

I believe my mom took this photo to show me what the cafeteria area of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital looked like.

I had been in the ICU there for a few days.

I had fallen out of my wheelchair, and needed surgery.

The surgery took a turn for the worse, and I was unconscious for three days.

Once I came to, I was looking for the outside world.

When I first ventured to this cafeteria (in the picture), I vividly remember two things: watching a man helping a little girl (presumably his daughter) and a fish tank.

The little girl was in a hot pink manual wheelchair. Her chair was shaped similar to one of my manual chairs, and it, just like hers, gives off the hospital-wheelchair vibe.

I remember seeing this girl, thinking of all the athlete-friends I have in wheelchairs, and, of course, feeling deeply grateful for all those who have helped me.

As my parents grabbed my food, I sat alone at the table, under a cluster of drugs, and with no functioning limb.

I thought to myself:

“What am I doing? So many disabled people have helped me. I need to make sure I help many disabled kids just like her.”

A few minutes earlier, the fish tank took my breath away.

It was remarkably colorful, and the fish, shimmying up, down and around a bright blue tank, looked so alive.

That, I admit, almost made me tear up.

I was — and still am — so grateful to be alive.

Leave a Reply