The grandmother of Ryland Ward, a 5-year-old survivor of the church massacre on Nov. 5 in Sutherland Springs, Texas, said her grandson — who is still hospitalized and unaware that his mother and two sisters were among the more than two dozen killed — has one wish this holiday: Christmas cards sent to his hospital room.
What are the details?
Ryland's grandmother Sandy Ward doesn't believe her grandson knows that his mother and two sisters were killed the massacre, but maintains that the little boy's spirits are up despite recovering from five gunshot wounds, including complications from a shattered femur.
Ward spoke to KSAT-TV, where she detailed her struggles in the aftermath of the shooting, as well as her grandson's glee at receiving cards while hospitalized.
"It's really been hitting me this week," Ward said, talking about the loss of her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. "It seems like all I do is cry lots of days because I still miss JoAnn and the girls (Emily and Brooke) and I'm sure it will be a long time before I get over that."
Ward added, "They still haven't told [Ryland] yet that his mom and sisters are dead, but I'm ... sure he's kind of getting some kind of idea because he's 5."
"Everybody else has been up there to see him, and they haven't been there," she explained.
The mass shooting at First Baptist Church, by Devin Kelley, left 26 dead and injured 20 others.
Ward noted that her grandson continues to smile despite the horror he's endured.
"You got so many nice people that are sending a card and a dollar to Ryland," Sandy said. "He does really enjoy that a lot."
According to KSAT, doctors are hopeful that Ryland will go home in six to eight weeks.
Where can cards be sent?
KSAT reported that cards for Ryland can be sent to the following address:
P.O. Box 174
Sutherland Springs, Texas 78161
Sandy added that any money collected from cards will be put toward a Go-Kart.