We lost my niece Joann Ward and two of her little girls in the Sutherland Springs shooting. Beloved mother, Joann Ward
Their youngest boy Ryland
(age 5) was shot 4 times but made it to the hospital and has a long way to go with multiple operations. Their oldest child Rihanna (age 9) also survived the shooting. From left, Rihanna, Brooke, Emily, Ryland
Joann was the most wonderful mom any child could wish for and her children were always laughing and just loving life. She leaves behind a husband Chris Ward and two other children that were in the church but survived the attack.
When the shooting began, Joann pushed Rihanna down just as a bullet shattered Rihanna's glasses, She hid under the bench seating and survived the shooting that day. Joann then grabbed her other three children and dropped to the floor with the children under her as best she could. The killer po
unded them with bullets as she tried covering them, he made sure none would survive. But despite 4 shots up and d
own the exposed side of Ryland, none could end his life.
He survived the shooting and while the doctors thought at first he would lose an arm, they were able to save it. His intestine was severed in 3 places and will take months to repair. His hip bone was shattered as well and will take time to repair and heal.
Joann's other daughter Brooke, 5 years of age, died in her mother's arms that day. Joann's middle girl, Emily also lost her life after having been rushed to the hospital but died in surgery.
Joann's actions represent exactly what any good mother would have done. She was able to save two to walk their journey with their family here on earth, while she walks with two on their journey in heaven.
A Trust fund for the two surviving children, Ryland, age 5 and Rihanna, age 9 has be
en set up for their medical needs and college fund. Trustee services and yearly tax services have been donated by local angels so 100% of all funds withdrawn go directly into the Trust Fund.
The family thanks you all for all your donations, prayers, and thoughts. You have made a difference in how these children will grow up and face a life without their mother and siblings. Please share this link: https://www.gofundme.com/joannward
The youngest lost was little Brooke age 5, above.
This picture below was taken in the church just a week ago, and the children we allowed to take pics on the Pastor's motorcycle. It was a moving sermon, our thoughts and prayers are with the Pastors lost daughter as well and all the families that suffered and are suffering through this.
7 year old Emily below