CTX 6-year-old injured in Sutherland Springs shooting released from hospital

Posted at 9:52 AM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2018-01-19 17:29:09-05

A Central Texas boy who was injured during the shooting at Sutherland Springs church that killed 26 people will be released from the hospital on Thursday at 1 p.m.

6-year-old Ryland Ward was inside of the church with his stepmother, half-sister and two stepsisters. When shots rang out, Ryland's stepmother shielded the four children. The stepmother, Joann Ward, and two sisters, 5-year-old Brooke and 7-year-old Emily, were killed.

Ryland was shot five times, once in the elbow, twice in the stomach and twice in the leg. He was in critical condition and on a breathing tube.

Rusty Duncan, the firefighter who pulled Ryland out of the church, told Central Texas News Now Ryland will be riding in Duncan's Stockdale Fire Department fire truck back to Sutherland Springs from University Hospital in San Antonio.

Several other agencies plan to join Duncan including Wilson County Sheriff's office, Fire Department and EMS, San Antonio Police Department and Bexar County agencies. 

Duncan was the first person to respond at the First Baptist Church the day of the shooting. He says he has spent every Sunday at the hospital visiting with Ryland. 

On Nov. 9, the family of Ryland told Central Texas News Now that he is doing better. Ryland is off life support and woke up. The family said doctors don't believe his brain is damaged. Ryland got out of surgery around midnight. Doctors also said his arm and stomach are recovering. 

In December, Ryland's grandmother told KSAT-TV that he is hoping for Christmas cards. 

You can send those to 

Ryland Ward
PO Box 174
Sutherland Springs, Texas 78161

On Dec. 5, Ryland had a successful surgery putting a stent in his kidney that remained in place for the following six weeks.

On Jan. 10, Ryland had lunch at the park after therapy and was able to walk couple miles around the hospital. 

A GoFundMe was set up by family members for the Ward family. 

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