It could’ve been me or you…my family or yours. To say that Ryan and Kirstie are the average family next door is an understatement. Ryan is 40 years old and a hard working family man. A field tech for TPC Systems, loving husband of almost 14 years and hands-on dad to two energetic, young sons. And just like with the average family, money is always tight. But it was important to Ryan & Kirstie that they not put their boys in daycare, so Kirstie managed to get a job at Bridgeport Hospital as an ER scribe, working the overnight shift 4 days a week so she could be there when the kids got home from school. Ryan and Kirstie both quietly made great sacrifces on behalf of their happy little family every day and it worked. They lived a simple life but always had something to share with the many friends and family members that knew the door was always open.
And then EVERYTHING changed! Did you just blink? Because that’s how quickly the universe turned upside down for this poor family…in the blink of an eye! On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, Ryan was found unresponsive at work. He had gone into cardiac arrest. It is unknown exactly how long his brain was deprived of oxygen. The doctors now believe he had a mild heart attack 4 to 6 weeks ago that his heart never recovered from, and all the while, one side of his heart was enlarging to compensate for the other, damaged side. If you’re like me, at this point you’re wondering, “didn’t he have symptoms?!” Well yes, but without the benefit of hindsight everything did have a reasonable explanation. He complained of indigestion…not exactly uncommon. He was sweating profusely that last week of July but we all were here in Connecticut – it was hot! And Ryan either worked outside or inspecting hot elevator shafts, old buildings without air-conditioning, etc. He was also extremely tired at the end of the day, but again, given the heat, that wasn’t exactly alarming either. And remember…he’s only 40!
Now he lies in ICU, critical but stable; intubated, in a medically induced coma. They can’t even address the blockage he has because right now the top priority is determining if there is any brain damage.
Does this sound like a nightmare yet? You wouldn’t think it possibly could, but it gets worse. I neglected to mention that on Monday, August 1, 2016, Kirstie lost her job due to outsourcing. No doubt, the stress of which was a contributing factor to Ryan’s cardiac arrest only two days later. This family has an immediate need for monetary funds. Ryan only has one week of vacation time left which will need to be used so they can start the process for him to collect Disability. They have a mortgage and the usual set of bills. The grocery bill alone to feed an 8 year-old boy and an 11 year-old boy could bankrupt a king! They don’t currently have a car payment but with Kirstie’s car at 168,000 miles and Ryan’s at 189,000 (and hardly reliable enough to go to the corner store without breaking down), they actually need a new car. And the medical bills?! We can’t even fathom how quickly those will pile up! Best case scenario, if and when Ryan pulls through this, he has months of surgery, rehab, therapy and recovery coming.
Please. We are asking for your help. Today I am asking that you can find it in your heart to give something, even small, and possibly to a complete stranger, if for no other reason than because tomorrow you may blink and find you need help. I know times are hard and money is tight…at least I thought I knew. After what happened to Ryan and Kirstie, maybe things aren’t as bad for me as I thought. It could’ve been my family. It could’ve been me.
Thank you for all the help you can give!
Love, Ryan and Kirstie's Family
(P.S. - In the interest of full disclosure, Ryan & Kirstie had a family trip planned to Disney World in November. They already have their airline tickets purchased, were staying as guests at their friends’ timeshare and were getting help with park passes. At this time, this vacation sadly is probably a moot point but we would NEVER want anyone to think that any donations they’re making in good faith would ever be used in that manner.)