Ryan was a light in our lives and now that he is forever at the feet
of Christ his light will shine even brighter for us.
I know it?s been difficult for everyone, getting information
piecemeal. Here are some details, please feel free to share them or
any part of this email.
Ryan was playing in a little stream a few yard from the campsite.
His father and the others knew where he was and he was in view.
Other kids were near him but after a bit they spread out. They were
all very excited to be in the campsite, they had only just arrived.
When they called the kids for prayers Ryan didn?t come and after a
very short time the rangers were called and then the state police
and fire marshals. They searched with dogs (my poor Ryan so
terrified of them). Dave called me at 11:30pm and then every hour
until our dear friend, who was scheduled to go up there Sat with his
four boys, drove me up at 4:30am. I arrived there at about 8:00 and
they were searching with a helicopter and infrared radar as well as
divers. He was found at about 10:30. In the five minutes between
the other kids being there and his being called Ryan had a grand mal
seizure and slipped into the stream, his body was found a few feet
away in a drain in a culvert. It is believed the seizure is what
killed him although we don?t have confirmation of that yet. When
Dave and I saw him, he looked very peaceful and that was of great
comfort to us.
Ryan received last rites at the campsite, two priests against all
odds showed up in the middle of the woods at exactly the right time
to administer the sacrament. Only Ryan could have arranged that.
It was reported that Ryan wandered off and some reports were quite
cruel in their tone. It just is not true. We did a brief interview
with Newsday to try to correct that and have since had my brother
dealing with turning away all of the news agencies. They have been
like barbarians at the gate.
In the last 48 hours we have been so blessed by all of the prayers
and love that we have received. My friend Chris has completely taken
over and has made it possible for us to not have to think. The
Knights of Columbus and Squires have also been incredible. I know
all of the people on IHM and MO have been contacting Chris and
lining up to help and we are just so grateful.
The pain that David and I are in is too unbearable to speak about. I
ask for your prayers for us and our children. Katie and Erin in
particular are old enough to understand and are completely
devastated. Every time I look at them my heart breaks all over
again. The little ones are sad and confused, not really understanding.
We are very mindful of how sad this is going to be for all off
Ryan?s friends in IHM. For many it will be there first experience
with losing a friend and Dave and I are offering up some of our
sorrow for their comfort. They have lost a dear friend but gained a
In the coming weeks we will read all of the emails and posts and do
our best to respond to everyone, in the meantime please be assured
of our gratitude and love for you all.
Addendum: Here is the Newsday article. Please read it -- Ryan evangelizes the world through his life's desire through a reporter's pen. Beautiful.