Ryker's Story

Images Captured By Melissa Weicker Photography

Tiny Light Ryker is a fighter who has already overcome many obstacles in his life.  His struggles began sometime after his mother’s 20 week ultrasound.  He stopped receiving the nutrients that his growing body needed and had a stroke in utero without his parents’ (or doctor’s) knowledge.  His mother’s pregnancy and delivery went smoothly.  However, his parents started having some concerns when he was only a few weeks old.  He cried day and night for months, was not attempting to reach for toys, and his body appeared weak as he could not support his own head.

After visiting several doctors who assured them that nothing was wrong, they were referred to a pediatrician who ordered blood tests and an MRI.  While the blood tests came back normal, the MRI showed that Ryker is missing a significant amount of white brain matter covering the surface of his brain.  He also has two large, fluid-filled cysts in the center of his frontal lobe caused by a bleed in his brain.  Instead of forming scar tissue, his body reabsorbed the damaged tissue.  He was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

Ryker has had a few seizures, but has seems to have outgrown them and is otherwise healthy.  He can now pick up and play with toys and has learned to “commando crawl” - a move that his little brother appears to have taught him!  How much control Ryker will gain over his muscles in the future is unknown, but his parents are hopeful.  He has provided his family with so much joy and laughter, and in his mother’s words: “His smile will melt your heart, mine melts everyday!”

Story by Emily Harrison