A 5-year-old boy who survived the Sutherland Springs church shooting is asking people to send him Christmas cards while he spends the holidays in the hospital.
KSAT reported that Ryland Ward lost his stepmother, JoAnn, and two sisters, Brooke, 5, and Emily Garza, 7, in the November 5 shooting that killed a total of 26 people. His oldest sister, Rianna, 9, was uninjured in the attack.
“They still haven’t told him yet that his mom and sisters are dead, but I’m sure he’s kind of getting some kind of idea because he’s 5,” his grandmother, Sandy, told the station.
According to People, Ryland was wounded once in the elbow and twice in the stomach and leg when a gunman opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. The boy’s uncle is said to have carried him out of the church after the shooting subsided.
Though Ryland was expected to be home for Christmas, his shattered femur is not healing as fast as doctors had hoped and he’s experiencing issues with his kidneys. Doctors are optimistic that the 5-year-old will be able to go home in six to eight weeks, the local station wrote.
“Rylands [sic] surgery today to put a stint in his kidney was a success. If it holds, it will remain in place 6 weeks. Please pray it holds and that he will not loose [sic] a kidney,” a GoFundMe page set up for Ryland posted this week.
“This young warrior has many battles to overcome.”
Now, the boy’s grandmother is asking the community to come together to cheer Ryland up by sending him Christmas cards. She mentioned that Ryland likes getting pictures from other children and their pets.
Cards can be mailed to the following address:
P.O. Box 174
Sutherland Springs, Texas, 78161
[Featured Image: Ryland Ward/KSAT video screenshot]