By SHERIDAN CYR
Ryan Catlin, 15, suffered a severe injury to his spinal cord in an ATV accident on Saturday, July 29 while vacationing with his family in Maine. The injury has left him with no movement in his legs, and limited arm movement.
Catlin’s injuries have kept him bedridden at Maine Medical Center in Portland under 24-hour care. His family has not left his side.
“It’s very painful for him, but he is in good spirits,” said Amy Catlin, Ryan’s mother. “He does what he needs to do to push through this.”
Ryan fractured his spine at the C-5 level, according to his mother. He is breathing on his own, but requires a temporary feeding tube and neck brace. He is unable to speak at this time, but he can mouth words. It takes several people to lift him out of his hospital bed.
His mother explained that from the day of the accident, Ryan has been more concerned about his family’s financial and emotional burden than anything else. He suggested they start an online fund for the costs of his medical treatment.
“Not only that, but he insisted we take photos of him throughout recovery, so he can eventually use them to motivate others,” said Amy. “He never stops thinking of everyone else.”
Funds being raised will aid Ryan and his family through hospitalization costs, physical therapy treatment, transportation and lodging for the family to be near Ryan, and for handicapped-accessible home and vehicle modifications. While Ryan goes through treatment, Amy is taking leave from work to be with him, making money especially tight.
“Ryan is a fantastic, smart kid with a big heart. He’s always been our rock,” said Amy.
Ryan is a sophomore at Southington High School, where he is in the top 10 of his class, participates in the school’s honors engineering program, the rugby team and the key club. Outside of school he is active in his church youth group, and plays on the town baseball and basketball leagues.
The funding website can be found at www.youcaring.com/ryancatlin-894036. His family hopes to raise $200,000 for his medical costs.
To comment on this story or to contact Observer editor John Goralski, email him at JGoralski@SouthingtonObserver.com.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 14
PASTA DINNER FOR RYAN CATLIN. Noon to 8 p.m. at Cadillac Ranch, 45 Jude Ln. Cost is $15 ($10 for children ages 3-8, children under 2 are free). Tickets are time sensitive (Noon to 3 p.m., 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.). Ryan Catlin is a 15-year-old SHS student that suffered a severe spinal injury. Tickets sold at Little Red Store, Elks Lodge (at their Wednesday pasta dinner), Music on the Green, Hot Tans, and Cadillac Ranch.