Outpouring of support for Pleasant Hill wrestler recovering from spinal cord injury

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- There was a huge outpouring of support in Pleasant Hill Monday for a high school wrestler recovering from a spinal cord injury as more than 500 people showed up for a fundraiser at College Park High School.

"We're all here supporting Ryan and we all love Ryan. We're Ryan strong," said event organizer Julie Ormerod.

Sixteen year old Ryan Joseph suffered a spinal cord injury during a JV wrestling match inside the school gym three and half weeks ago. His team was competing against rival Alhambra High. Many from the Alhambra wrestling team came to show their support.

"We all feel pretty bad but at the end of the day it was a freak accident. There's nothing we could have done really. We're just here to support really," said Alhambra High School student Josh Bigness.

The goal is to raise enough money to help the Joseph family buy what's called a lowered floor mobility van, a vehicle with ramps that can accommodate a wheelchair. In addition to the van, the community is anticipating other needs that are bound to come up and for that, a Go-Fund-Me page has raised nearly $200,000 so far.

Ryan's grandmother says he's been making progress. He can now talk and has feeling in his feet. Ryan, his parents and his sister arrived at a Colorado facility last week and will remain there for the next three months.

"His attitude is just outstanding. Whatever they want him to do, he does it and he tries harder. So if they want him to breathe five minutes on his own, he does seven," said Sherry Johnson, Ryan's grandmother.

Click here to help Ryan.

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