After two hours of sleep Cindy, David–our middle son–and I  caught an Alaska Airlines flight from Portland to Oakland. After landing we picked up a rental car and drove to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley CA. Around noon Ryan’s doctor explained that the bleeding in his brain had stopped–good news. But the blood had formed a syrupy pool under his brain–not good news as blood can inflame the brain leading to infection. But the pool was tiny–good news because if the bleeding didn’t resume the brain would absorb the blood.

Based on the brain scans neither the radiologist nor Dr. Peter Adamczyk, the neurointerventional surgeon (the doc who uses a catheter to diagnose and treat brain injuries), could identify the source of the bleeding.  So Dr. Adamczyk said he would first do a procedure with dye and a catheter running through a blood vessel from his hip to his brain in search of the cause of the bleed. If all looked good, he would finish and Ryan would remain in the hospital four or so days and then go home. If he saw a problem he would attempt to fix it right away. The second procedure carried risks and could last up to four hours. The doctor didn’t soften the blow when he spoke of the dangers.

At noon a nurse rolled Ryan away on a gurney to the operating room.

We sat in the waiting room hoping for the best but realizing we may have seen our son, as we had known him, for the last  time. He could die or worse–live in a vegetative state. I recalled the boy I coached  in soccer who grew into a collegiate midfielder. The young man who took a group of blind students on a hike where he fell off a forty foot cliff into a pool of water. Fortunately, it was deep and a team of rappelers happened by and pulled him to safety with their ropes. I think of his many trips to India, Pakistan and Nepal. Countries and cultures he learned to love and languages he mastered. I remembered how I never once left his presence without a hug and a kiss on his cheek and a reminder of my love for him. And his quick kiss on my cheek followed by “I love you, Dad.”

All of this ran though my mind as we waited. Time slows to a crawl when waiting to see if God will spare your son. Ryan went to Moody Bible Institute and then earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Who does that? He has lectured at Harvard, Oxford, the University of Chicago and is currently the South Asian Librarian and teacher of Indian history at Stanford. The Stanford paper wrote two feature articles referring to him as Stanford’s Indiana Jones as he rides a motorcycle and travels the world

Would he ever ride again? Lecture again? Kiss me again? Take his two kids to places like England, France,  India, Pakistan, trekking in Nepal, South America and Africa?

Finally, Dr. Adamczyk entered the waiting lounge. We stood. I held my breath.

“All went well,” he said. “No further treatment is needed. He will rest for four or so days and then go home. I  anticipate no further problems.”

I choked back tears of joy. God spared my son.

Thank you for your prayers and expressions of love and support. I’ve been writing this blog for over fourteen years and never have I gotten such an outpouring of love from all over the United States and the world. And the expressions of love, prayer and support continue. So far, I’ve personally answered each one.

Tonight is better than this morning. God spared by dear son.

Thank you for your love and prayers.




There are 15 comments

  1. Chris Wojda

    Amazing news, Bill (and Cindy)! Katie and I are so relieved to learn that Ryan is doing so well. We hope to be able to see him again soon. Be well.

  2. Joanne Dittler

    So happy for you and your family! Our prayers went up and God listened! Praising Him for sparing Ryan. Hugs to you and your family~

  3. Brad Nickel

    Amen! Praise be to God the Father! Thank you, LORD, for allowing Ryan to continue to be with us. Thank you for your protection and healing of him, through your good and perfect will. Thank you for blessing the family with peace through this entire event. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  4. Mike Davenport

    Praise Jesus for his healing for my former teammate and childhood friend. My adopted life verse is James 1:12. Blessed are those who persevere under trial, having stood the test, will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

    My love and prayers will be with your family forever.

  5. Marisa

    Rejoicing with you! My mother’s heart breaks wide open for you and now rejoices with you. God is ever faithful to surround us with His love through his Word, His Spirit and His people. May you continue to sense His presence in a powerful way, hear His personalized whispered words to your heart and know the depths of His love for you, your son and the family. May He use this situation be a testament to touch the lives of many for years to come ♥

  6. Lili Schmelzinger

    Praying for Ryan’s full recovery. Also keeping you and Cindy in our prayers! May God sustain you all with His loving arms!

    In Him,
    David and Lili Schmelzinger

  7. Linda

    We are so glad to hear that Ryan will recover from a potentially deadly or debilitating medical condition. God is so good to answer our prayers in his behalf. We know that this experience will enhance his life even more and God is glorified.
    All Praise To Him,
    George and Linda Sugimura
    Bay Area Chinese Bible Church

  8. Emery Smith

    I am so amazed at how good GOD is…when He does exactly what we desire…and when He doesn’t. I am thankful your amazing son is back from the grave.

    My legacy began in 1978. My father asked me to leave my college degree in Environmental Studies/Community Studies at UCSC to form a family business. It was his desire and my love to honor and work alongside my dad whom I admired for decades. That dream came crashing down October 24, 1983 when we found out my 60 year old father and 21 year old brother were murdered. No explanations as the likely guilty person died at 85 two months later.

    A year later the legacy business collapsed.

    I went to work for others…never fully discovering a perfect fit even though I tried to grow in spirit and in wisdom. I served my family, my church and my friends in countless ways hoping for breakthrough to “the BEST is yet to come”.

    Then in 2003, to the month of the 20th anniversary of my father’s and brother’s deaths, my 25 year old son died in his sleep. No explanations again. The namesake to my father. My firstborn.

    Another 10 years to within two weeks of another anniversary , Friday, November 7th, 2003 and my remaining older brother, was murdered on a Friday night in his property management office alone. The angry mother and son, recently evicted for a variety of causes, were tried and convicted and sentenced to life in prison. I forgave them just as I had forgiven those who did not pay their bills and caused our family business to fail.

    Then in 2016, we moved to SoCal and within one year my wife was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I am her caregiver. We did not expect this any more than the other tragedies.

    But as Joseph said in Egypt, “what the enemy means for evil, GOD means for good.”

    We press onward to VICTORY I have found I am a CHAMPION even though my flesh says otherwise.. The BEST is yet to come…

  9. Roger W Law

    Greetings Bill . . . You, Cindy, Ryan and family are receiving earnest prayers from Ernie B. who alerted me at 9:15am on Friday 25 Oct ‘19; and earnest prayers also from dear friends Sherri & Steve W. and Mark A. Thank-you also for posting and sharing this prayer opportunity, along with the follow-up call received this morning while I was in Astoria, Oregon. Prayer is powerful and prayer works! Amen and Amen!! {8^). —RWL 10/27/2019@6:00pm PDT

  10. Carolyn bartruff

    Bill and Cindy, continuing to pray for Ryan as he recovers. As I read your words I identified with you and remembered your support and prayers as both Victor andBeth faced life threatening health issues 9 years ago. In lunching with friends from our Lake days someone asked about your sons. I will now share with them about Ryan and need for continued prayers. Will continue praying for you and Cindy and for Ryan.

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