If you haven't already had the pleasure meeting this remarkable young man, I'd like to take a minute to introduce you to William 'Ryan' Sailors, the loving son of our dear friend, Jan Gaston Sailors, and her husband, Mike Sailors. Ryan is also the awesome little brother of Michael Sailors, who currently attends Valdosta State University. Although Ryan is just 19 years old, this brave young man has been through more than most could ever imagine.
Ryan was born in 1997 in Atlanta, Georgia. At birth he was diagnosed with having a congenital heart defect. Only 4 days later, Ryan had his first open heart surgery. Two weeks after the surgery, while in recovery, Ryan went into cardiac and respiratory arrest. The lack of oxygen during the trauma caused Ryan to develop Cerebral Palsy. By age 2, Ryan had 3 open heart surgeries and this was merely the beginning. Throughout his life, Ryan has had to endure several other medical obstacles and procedures. Just in the last five years, due to severe scoliosis, Ryan had to have a spinal fusion, having rods inserted in his back to stabilize his spinal cord as he suffered from a 75 degree curvature in his spine. He has also had to have a G-tube (feeding tube) inserted in his belly due to Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome- a rare digestive system disorder. Most recently he was diagnosed with PLE, Protein Losing Enteropathy (an abnormal loss of protein from the digestive track), and was admitted to Memorial Hospital in Savannah in May. Ryan was there for 2 weeks and then transported to Egleston Hospital in Atlanta. He received care there for 2 weeks, then transported to Scottish Rite where he is currently. This is not the typical life of a 19 year old. My heart breaks every time I visit Ryan at the hospital. The love in the room is indescribable. Ryan lays there with the comfort of knowing that his sweet mother, Jan, is right there next to him holding his hand. The whole time Jan still wears that beautiful Gaston smile that can light up a room.
Friends, I have seen first-hand exactly what Jan and her husband are going through and it hurts my heart. Jan has been staying with Ryan, in the hospital since May, while Mike works during the week in Savannah and commutes to Atlanta on the weekends to be with them. The family has always only asked for prayers, but now they could use our help in a different way. There is so much beyond the outrageous medical expenses that we don't even think about. Any donation would be greatly appreciated and would be put to good use. I promise you this will make a difference. Let's help Ryan and this beautiful family. Thank you so much & God bless-