A Night She’ll Always Remember
November 2006 will always remain ingrained in Amber Ryan’s mind forever. She had been preparing for a mid-week date with her boyfriend Ty when she received a call that would change the course of her life and relationship.
It was terrible news and it would test her strength and love more than she could ever have imagined.
You won’t believe this story of tragedy, hope, and perseverance.
High School Love
Amber lived in the small town of Westphalia, Texas and you could say was your typical high school girl. She had a nice group of friends, was involved in extracurricular activities, and maintained great grades. About four months prior to the call that changed her world, she had begun dating a local guy named Ty Ryan who attended a high school in close proximity to hers.
Taking It Slow
Despite being totally crazy about each other, the couple chose to take things slow. They only went on dates on the weekends, so they could focus on school throughout the week. However, this particular Thursday evening they decided to have a rare mid-week date.
A Mid-Week Date
The date was a totally last minute idea that Amber came up with while bored in her chemistry class. She texted Ty that she would get ready that afternoon and she’d give him a call when she was ready. Amber had no idea that the night was going to play about much differently than expected.
Amber described to the website, Love What Matters that her afternoon progressed normally. “There it was, Thursday, November 2, 2006,” she said. “I remember exactly what I had on that day. How I fixed my hair, and exactly how excited I was to see my sweet boyfriend Ty for our evening together.”
A Strange Call
However, around 4:16 p.m., Amber received a strange call from Ty’s phone. When she answered, the person on the other line was NOT Ty. Immediately, she began to feel a sense of unease. Something was definitely not right about the situation.
Who Is This?
The caller identified themselves as the assistant principal of Ty’s school. He revealed to Amber that Ty had been in a car accident and things were “not good.” The principal asked if Amber could come to the crash site and she immediately agreed.
Rushing to the Scene
With her dad driving, Amber rushed as fast as she could to where Ty had been involved in the accident. The entire drive was tortuous as Amber’s mind raced from thought to thought. She then realized she needed to inform Ty’s parents of the accident.
An Uncomfortable Call
“I had only known them for four months,” Amber revealed. “And now I had to call them and say that their 17-year-old son is ‘not good?’” For Amber, it was an uncomfortable call, but one she knew she had to make. Thankfully, the parents were appreciative and soon, both Amber and her dad arrived at the scene of the accident.
Amber recalls total chaos when she arrived. Not only were there two ambulances but multiple fire trucks and police cars. There even was a helicopter! And worst of all, Ty’s truck was completely destroyed.
The moment Amber saw the wreckage, her heart sank.
Distraught and Fearful
Amber pushed through the crowd of paramedics and finally saw Ty sprawled out on the ground. He met her gaze through the flurry of people and was even lucid enough to greet her. “The paramedics were asking Ty to move his legs and feet,” Amber recalled. “He couldn’t. No movement.”
Not Able to Move
The police questioned Amber and she confirmed Ty’s identity. During this time, Amber was unable to take her eyes off of the paramedics working on her boyfriend. How could this possibly be happening?
Overcome with Worry
For a sixteen-year-old girl, it was a lot for Amber to take in. She could have never imagined that her date night would have transformed into such a nightmare. Even worse, she was worried sick about Ty and the fact he was having trouble moving. Could he possibly be paralyzed?
The paramedics quickly prepped Ty for transfer. They fit him with a neck brace and placed him in the helicopter to be flown to the nearest emergency room. As Amber and her father drove to the hospital, she remained fearful for Ty and his condition.
Waiting for Answers
Amber remembers the long wait with Ty’s family and friends being an emotional rollercoaster. “We are all desperate for answers. Does he have a pulse? A heartbeat? Is he alive?” For Amber, it was one of the worst moments of her life.
A Spinal Injury
It would be hours later when the doctors attending to Ty would finally update them on his condition. The good news? He was alive and in stable condition. Unfortunately, he had suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury due to the accident.
A Truck Problem
The family was also informed that the cause of the accident had been due to a loose lug nut on one of the truck’s wheels. It had detached completely and caused the crash. Now, Ty was facing a future where he might never walk again.
An Operation to Save His Mobility
With time being of the essence, the doctors immediately whisked Ty away and into surgery. They needed to repair the damage as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Amber was wracked with guilt. She had been the one to suggest their impromptu date and couldn’t help but feel responsible.
The Best Surgeons Available
Amber revealed to Love What Matters: “I felt horrible and somewhat responsible. The next day being Friday, he had a nine-hour surgery to repair his injury. He had the best surgeons in the area doing their very best to regain any type of movement possible.”
Praying for the Best
“Ty had one plate, two rods and 14 screws placed,” Amber revealed. “The surgery went as planned, and we were just praying for the best. He remained sedated through the weekend to allow his body to rest and heal a little.”
Returning to School
With Ty recovering and his condition stable, Amber returned to school and life had to move on. Of course, it wasn’t easy. The accident and the drama that followed had taken an emotional toll on the young high school student. She hoped there would be a positive update soon.
Thankfully, that following Monday Ty woke up and one of his first requests was to see Amber.
Falling in Love
Amber remembers that reuniting with Ty at the hospital was a moment filled with emotions. “My heart had never been so happy. I remember thinking, wait, is this really what it feels like to be in love with someone? I made it to his ICU unit and locked eyes with him… He was smiling, while I could not control my tears.”
Sealed with a Kiss
Despite being in pain, Ty couldn’t stop smiling at Amber. His hair and face was still a mix of dirt and blood from the accident, but Amber didn’t care. She planted a big kiss on his lips. Amber recalls “It was in that moment, that I truly knew I loved him and was really in love with him.”
Six Weeks of Care
Ty remained in the ICU for another two weeks before being released to the general inpatient area of the hospital. He then faced six weeks of physical therapy and recovery. And even though he was in pain and immobile, Ty refused to let his education fall by the wayside. He had his assignments brought to him at the hospital so he could stay on track.
Spending Every Moment Together
Despite the accident and the extended hospital stay, Ty and Amber continued their weekend dates. “Without fail, we spent every moment together that we could, no matter the distance. As the years went on, we learned more about living Ty’s new normal – in a wheelchair. There was still no movement or feeling below the chest.”
Adapting to a New Life
Both Ty and Amber had to adapt to his new way of life, which eventually became his new normal. Ty could not use the bathroom like everyone else and had daily medications that needed to be administered. However, Amber didn’t mind. This was the man she loved and would always remain by his side.
A Caring and Loving Man
According to Amber, despite his circumstances, Ty never became bitter or angry. In fact, his personality remained unchanged even though his ordeal had radically changed the course of his life. “What has not changed is the caring, patient and loving person that Ty is. How did I get so lucky?”
The couple continued dating throughout high school and college. Then in 2009, Ty finally popped the question. Of course, Amber said yes and they married in a lavish ceremony with over 1,100 gues in attendance. For Amber, it was a dream come true. She got to marry the man of her dreams.
A Family Filled with Love
As the years passed, both Amber and Ty decided they wanted to expand their family and have a child. Unfortunately, despite multiple attempts, Amber could not get pregnant. It was soon revealed to be a fertility issue and not due to Ty’s condition.
Thankfully, their dream of having a child would eventually come true.
The couple decided to take the adoption route and after seven months of waiting, they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy they named Tucker. And even better? Amber beat the odds and is now pregnant herself!
To say this couple and their love is inspiring would be an understatement. We wish their family the very best in life!