Support and Honor Ryan Payne and Heather Moran

$71,510 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 999 people in 1 month
Created May 28, 2019
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.

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It has been a month since Ryan left us. We are still receiving letters in the mail, flowers, messages online and notes from classmates with memories and stories of Ryan. The outpourings of support and compassion are constant reminders of how many lives Ryan has touched.

Almost two weeks ago, on a beautiful Pacific Northwest Saturday, we laid Ryan to rest. As stories were cherished, memories passed, and the words of Ryan's Eulogy were shared, our faces bolstered the feeling of deep bonds, respect and mutual courtesy that Ryan embodied each day. While there were countless tears shed, there were also many tender, humorous moments - the full range of emotion that Ryan inspired.

Folks traveled from around the country to be there - young and old, new and old friends, classmates, teammates, neighbors, representatives from his favorite sports teams, local businesses that have seen Ryan grow up, military members and his family.

More powerful than words were the actions of his football teammates - a team Ryan was so very proud to be a part of. As Ryan’s pallbearers, they gently and honorably carried him to his final resting place. They each placed their white gloves on his casket showing respect and a final salute to their fallen teammate.

Ryan's #22 jersey continues to be honored and recognized across his teams and school - although most people did not understand the meaning behind it and why it was so important to Ryan. Ryan has always been dedicated to his belief and support in Military Service for our country, and the care for each and every Veteran. He traveled to the Department of Defense Warrior Games for two years to watch his Mom compete, cheering on all the wounded warriors, from every branch and country. Ryan was made aware that each day, approximately 22 veterans are lost to suicide. Feeling both the power of their service and the possible pain they may have endured, Ryan endeavored to help spread awareness of this, hoping to help veterans receive support for the care they needed and that they would not be forgotten. In honor of so many lost Veterans, Ryan chose #22 as his jersey number - to support this endeavor, every day.

Ryan's family appreciates so much the support that has been shared in the last month.

Of utmost importance is to continue sharing Ryan's stories - the ones that his family has never heard before, and powerful ones worth repeating.

We're collecting stories about Ryan to put into a special book for his family - and would kindly ask all of you who knew Ryan, or stories about Ryan, to please share them with us for inclusion in the book. Please visit https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/seattle-wa/ryan-payne-8734914/add-memory and add a Memory or Memories.

And for the moment, even in our time of grief, remember Ryan's message to respect each other, to be kind and honor those we meet everyday. Simply by doing a kind act each day or even just saying, “Have a nice day” or “Have a good evening” you will keep the impact Ryan had on people alive.
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The outpouring of support over the last 24 hours has been incredible! What started as a proud and beautiful Memorial Day for Ryan’s family has changed completely and abruptly into trying to understand if this is even real - Ryan’s passing, the community embrace, and effort to ensure Ryan and his family are honored and supported. In only 24 hours, we’ve almost reached 50% of our Support goal, with almost 700 Supporters across the United States and around the World.

We’ve heard from Ryan’s classmates and school community, coaches, active and Reserve Military members and families local and abroad, parents who have lost children - and hundreds of people that would seem like strangers until we hear how they met Ryan or Heather even a single time years ago. While our work to support Ryan’s family has included donations on this site - we’re making sure that Ryan’s family is getting visits, meals, and time to grieve with held hands. This enormous support campaign is giving them confidence and comfort that while we’re still trying to understand the magnitude of the impact - and even dread the grief that bubbles up suddenly and repeatedly - Ryan’s family knows we’re rallying around them 24 hours a day, for the months and years ahead. Rallying support and holding each other as a team embodies everything about Ryan - in life and spirit.

The stories we’re reading - on this site, in text messages, emails, photos, posts on Facebook and social media - continue to roll in, and Ryan’s family is reading every one of them, shedding a tear or countless. Amazingly, so many of these stories about Ryan are new ones not shared before, giving his family both a feeling of the precious bonds that he created everyone he met - and also another powerful sense of each story being uniquely touching - and completely consistent with Ryan’s service to others, smile, and team spirit.

We’ve also been blessed by so many news stations and reporters reaching out to to share Ryan’s story - not just the accident and loss, but also the interviews with Coaches, community and our work to support Ryan’s family and memory. We appreciate so very much the respectful, sincere, patient and thoughtful outreach and magnification of his energy… an energy that already seemed boundless and infinite, and so many more are hearing and feeling it.

Here are some of local news stations and sites talking about Ryan… warning that reading these and watching the interviews may leave you, as we have, with both tears of sadness and also inspiration…

Ryan’s hometown newspaper, the Kenmore-Bothell Reporter, covers the accident, the effects on Ryan’s school and classmates, and our campaign to honor Ryan’s memory and support his family.
http://www.bothell-reporter.com/news/kenmore-youth-dies-after-near-drowning-on-memorial-day/

Seattle’s oldest and largest newspaper covering the accident, the first responders, and the support needed.
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/kenmore-middle-school-student-dies-after-being-pulled-out-of-lake-washington-on-memorial-day/

Pacific Northwest and Seattle KING 5 news station covering the accident, and interviews with first responders and the accident site.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle/14-year-old-boy-dies-after-lake-washington-swimming-accident/281-b3993ae6-93bb-485a-a5f4-d096d28aa693

Pacific Northwest and Seattle KIRO 7 news station covering the first responders and efforts to rescue Ryan after the accident.
https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/teen-in-critical-condition-after-being-pulled-from-lake-washington/952823063

Pacific Northwest and Seattle Q13 Fox news station covering Ryan’s passing, the hole in our community, and an interview with Ryan’s upcoming season High School Football Coach on Ryan’s passion and team spirit.
https://q13fox.com/2019/05/28/football-coach-mourns-death-of-teen-player-pulled-from-lake-washington-he-fought-his-heart-out/

Also, Pacific Northwest and Seattle’s KOMO 4 News has reported multiple stories on the accident, rescue effort, first responders…
https://komonews.com/news/local/teen-in-critical-condition-after-near-drowning-in-lake-washington
… Ryan’s recent Middle School Football Coach, Ryan’s infection energy, and surrounding community…
https://komonews.com/news/local/everything-about-him-was-just-infectious-coach-remembers-teen-who-drowned

And our favorite story from 3 years ago when Ryan was surprised by his Mom when she returned home from her U.S. Army unit deployment overseas - at Seattle Mariner’s stadium in front of 65,000 people!
https://komonews.com/news/local/us-army-sergeant-surprises-son-at-mariners-home-opener

Again, Thank You to everyone for helping us reach almost 50% of our goal - for your prayers and healing thoughts for Ryan, Ryan’s family, sharing news of our support campaign, donations, and your own stories about Ryan.

Please keep magnifying and sharing Ryan and his family’s message of Team Spirit, Community Service, and Support for Soldiers and Veterans!
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$71,510 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 999 people in 1 month
Created May 28, 2019
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