On Memorial Day 2019
, a water accident left 14-year old Ryan Payne in critical condition. He was immediately aided by retired and off-duty first responders
, who provided continuous CPR. He was then rushed to Harborview Trauma Center in Seattle, Washington where the best trauma and emergency aid professionals in the Northwest cared for him
. Over the next 24 hours, he received dozens of liters of blood and plasma. He underwent numerous attempts to stabilize his critical condition through scans and invasive surgical procedures - engaging all Harborview Medical Departments to help save Ryan's life
. Throughout, Ryan had his family and community at his side - hoping for a miracle, praying for him, visiting the hospital and standing with him.
As with all of Ryan's 14 years of life, he used every ounce of energy and effort to fight through the critical damage to his kidneys, liver, heart, brain and lungs. With his Mom, Dad, Sister and Grandparents at his side, along with his Rabbi and his Mom's Army Unit Chaplain, extended family and friends surrounding, Ryan accepted that his young teenage body had given all it could, that his spirit deserved to live on - and he passed away feeling the love, support, and passionate energy that filled his days
Ryan was blessed with a deep, caring and close community through school, sports, volunteering, his Mom's military family, teachers, coaches, parents, and his own family. Though Ryan's physical form has left us - the memories, connections, experiences and the grief will only grow in the coming days, months and years ahead.Ryan was always excited, proud and living life as a member of a larger team
- whether on his soccer team with Northshore Youth Soccer Association, Kenmore Elementary School, Kenmore Middle School, North Lake Little League, and the Vikings Junior Football
. Ryan was an unending fan of the Seattle Seahawks, the Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Sounders
- attending games with his Mom and Sister and friends every year, especially at Military Appreciation and Veteran Events.Ryan's Mom, Heather, has been in the United States Army military for 30 years
. Heather has gone through an extended deployment and 5 mobilizations. As a single mother, she has always needed a full community of support. During her training missions, deployments abroad and mobilizations, Ryan needed help back at home to get him to school and sports events, and setup FaceTime and video conference calls abroad with his Mom. Heather is also a wounded Veteran, and has medaled in the Warrior Games two years in a row. Heather has traveled around the world and across the United States in every spare moment - bringing Ryan and Ryan's sister whenever possible - to advocate for Veterans services, compete with other Wounded Warriors at the highest levels of physical and mental exertion, and ensure that her Service and family's sacrifice is a lifelong endeavor. She mentored and modeled the highest integrity and effort for Ryan throughout. When Heather was home with her children, she was constantly volunteering at Ryan's school and an always active participant in Kenmore Elementary PTA and the Kenmore Middle School PTSA. Even now, Heather continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve, returning from her most recent service only days before Memorial Day - to spend it with her beloved son, Ryan and daughter
. As a parent, lifelong volunteer and military service member who has made so many sacrifices for others, we want to be there for her as she goes through this difficult process that no parent or Veteran should ever have to experience.
The medical costs alone with the dramatic rescue and the top doctors and medical staff working around the clock will impact Ryan's family significantly. Additionally, Ryan's Mom just started new work as a civilian Nurse in the United States Navy and does not have the ability to take paid time off for grief, to take care of Ryan's service or to provide aid to Ryan's teenage sister. Throughout Heather's life - she's given every second, every cent, every spare bit of energy to her family, her country, teamwork, Military service, and returns ten-fold to all around.
All donations will cover the following in order of need: emergency first response costs, Emergency Room medical costs, Harborview Trauma hospitalization, critical and expensive diagnostic tests and scans, critical surgical procedures to save Ryan's life, funds to cover Ryan's service, funds to cover his Mom missing work as a Navy nurse, supporting funds to help with bills overwhelming Ryan's family in this time of grief.
In addition, Ryan's family would like to create a scholarship in Ryan Payne's memory at his school - to support passionate and vibrant children in need, especially those in Military and Veteran families. Any extra funds will go towards setting up this scholarship.