Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teacher Carries Student on His Back So She Can Enjoy Field Trip Without Wheelchair


The King family from Louisville, Kentucky, has had a long road to travel with their daughter, Ryan — but thanks to the kindness of one teacher, she’s going further than ever before.

Ryan was born at 8 in the morning on July 7, 2009, according to her Facebook support page.

At month five of pregnancy, her parents had found out that she had spina bifida, and prepared themselves for the unknown.

“The joy we felt in our hearts to see a 6lb baby girl was amazing,” her mom wrote on the Facebook page. “I got to kiss her and with in minutes she was shipped off with daddy to surgery. Closing her back and placing a VP shunt in her head to drain the fluid off her brain.”

“After 5 LONG weeks we were able to hold her. Holding that 7 lbs of little Ryan, felt like I had the whole world in my hands. We finally got to take her home.”

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“That night I didn’t sleep,” her mom continued. “I watched her and watched her. Amazed by how strong and beautiful. I also heard her. Ryan had a ‘squeak’ noise she made when ever she would breath in. and that night around 11pm while giving Ryan her bottle, she quit breathing. I had to do mouth to mouth to get her to respond. And back to the ER we went.”

“Ryan was placed back into the NICU for another month. She had 1 more apneic episode while there. Test after test after test. All they could find was reflux. Chris and I took turns spending countless hours in the medical library trying to figure out what was wrong. I was convinced it was her Chairi (in her brain) causing the squeeking and swallowing issues. But the DRs kept telling me I was crazy bc she was too young for that to be a problem. We suggested a trach, they said it wasn’t necessary.”

Through the next few years, little Ryan experienced feeding issues, asthma, infections, surgeries and a coma — but she stayed happy and kept fighting.

Since she uses a wheelchair, school outings for the now-10-year-old can be a little tricky, and oftentimes she can’t tag along with her classmates.

Her mom, Shelly King, thought that would be the case for one particular field trip to the Falls of the Ohio fossil beds, but Jim Freeman, a teacher at Tully Elementary School, made an offer the Kings couldn’t resist, KARE reported.

“If i haven’t bragged on my kids school enough – well, listen to this,” Shelly posted to Facebook on Thursday.

“They are going on a field trip to Falls Of The Ohio today. Obviously, NOT accessible. I was preparing for an ‘alternate field trip day’ when a male teacher reached out and said ‘I’m happy to tote her around on the falls all day!'”

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“She is sooooo excited to do this indepdent from me. Omg MELT MY HEART.”

“Thank you Christie Pile for giving me these back pack carriers, making this possible for Ryan. I CANT wait for pics today. We are sooooo blessed to have an ENTIRE school that is so compassionate and empathetic and NEVER make her feel left out.”

The field trip photos show a beaming Ryan being carried along over rough terrain by the generous Mr. Freeman.

While this was a very kind and caring gesture, there are other ways you can personally encourage the young lady, if you feel so moved.

“Alot of people ask me what they can do to help,” Shelly wrote on the “Team Ryan” Facebook page.

“Write her a letter or send a card with a message about how you are rooting for her.”

“If you have a chance feel free to write her a note. I will save each and everyone in what im making, Her LOVE BOOK. So that she will always be able to look back on how many people are rooting for her.”

Ryan is blessed to have such a caring support network, and if her mother’s writing is any indication, those around Ryan are just as blessed by her cheerful personality.

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