‘Who is this?,’ I asked. ‘This is Ty’s assistant principal. I came upon a car accident on my way home. It’s Ty.’ Wait, what?’: High school sweethearts overcome horrific car accident to start a family

More Stories like:

“I remember sitting in high school chemistry and getting this wild idea of having a ‘during the week’ date with my boyfriend of 4 months. We typically only saw each other on the weekends but I decided to text him and we planned a date for Thursday.

There it was, Thursday, November 2, 2006. 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. Ty lived about 10 miles from my house. I told him I would let him know when I was home from school so he could come by to pick me up. Little did I know that when I made that phone call, the details I heard on the other end of the line would change our lives forever. Nothing would ever, ever be the same.

High school teen wraps his arms around girlfriend as they smile
Courtesy of Amber Ryan

When Ty’s phone was answered at 4:16 p.m., I knew that was not his voice. ‘Who is this,’ I asked. ‘This is Ty’s assistant principal from school. I just came upon a car accident on my way home. It’s Ty and he is not good. Can you come here?’ Wait, what? Why? What happened? And why is he ‘not good?’ My dad was home and drove me to the scene which was exactly half way between our homes. I got in the truck and had to make the dreadful phone calls to his parents. I have only known them for 4 months and now I have to call them and say that their 17-year-old son is ‘not good’?

We pulled up to the scene and I jumped out as fast as my dad could stop the truck. One vehicle accident. Two ambulances. Multiple fire trucks and police cars. One helicopter. I repeat – one helicopter. It really was not good. I finally found Ty in the center of a crowd of first responders. ‘Hey babe,’ Ty said as soon as we locked eyes while he is laying there in a pile of ants that were biting him. The paramedics were asking Ty to move his legs and feet. He couldn’t. No movement. The cop that was writing the report immediately took me away to review Ty’s address and other information that was found in his wallet. Yes, all correct. I just could not take my eyes off of Ty. He’s now in a neck brace and heading to the helicopter. What’s going on?

Destroyed truck from car crash that injured high school teen
Courtesy of Amber Ryan

We rushed to the hospital where I met up with his parents. We are all desperate for answers. Does he have a pulse? A heartbeat? Is he alive? After hours of doctors and their medical team examining Ty, they have gathered us in a room to report their findings. Ty has suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury. He is now hooked up to countless wires, tubes and a halo attached to his head. Is this my fault? I’m the one that wanted to see him tonight. Later, we found out the lug nuts on one of his tires had loosened and the entire wheel came off and sent his truck out of control.

The next day being Friday, he had a 9-hour surgery to repair his injury (as much as possible). He had the best surgeons in the area doing their very best to regain any type of moment possible. Ty had one plate, two rods and 14 screws placed. 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.

I continued to go to high school as any 16-year-old girl would. On Monday, I called after school to get the latest report. He’s awake and asking for me. My heart had never been so happy. 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 again, finally. He was smiling, while I could not control my tears. His face and hair still had dirt mixed with some dried blood on it and he had not brushed his teeth in 4 days, but I kissed him anyway. It was in that moment, that I truly knew I loved him and was really in love with him. After many ups and downs, Ty remained in ICU for two weeks. He later transferred to a rehabilitation center about 3 hours from home. Ty remained in inpatient care for about a month and a half. During the day, he would have multiple therapy sessions, classes on teaching you how to care for your new body and visiting with doctors about medications and new symptoms. He also completed high school tests and assignments from his hospital room while I was at my own high school waiting for the weekend to see him again. Without fail, we spent every moment together that we could, no matter the distance.

High school teen who was in car crash lays in physical therapy in neck brace holding two poles
Courtesy of Amber Ryan
Teen who suffered spinal chord injury from car crash smiles with neck brace on beside girlfriend
Courtesy of Amber Ryan

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. He now does not use the restroom the same as you and I, he has to take routine medicine that a 17-year old should not have to take and he now needs help with getting in and out of cars. What has not changed is the caring, patient and LOVING person that Ty is. How did I get so lucky?

Teen with spinal chord injury sits in wheelchair smiling while girlfriend stands beside him
Courtesy of Amber Ryan

In 2008, we made a big step and moved off to college together. We went to school and both had jobs. We did our very best to have normal, everyday lives. On December 18, 2009, Ty asked me to marry him. Without a shadow of a doubt, I said YES! Best. Day. Ever. On a hot summer day in June of 2011, we said ‘I do’ in Ty’s hometown church. We danced and laughed the night away with our friends and family. After all the people that supported us through Ty’s accident and recovery, our guest list continued to grow. We invited over 1,100 people to our special day.

Bride sits on grooms lap who is paralyzed from car crash from when he was a teen
Bailey Lane Photography – Austin, Texas

Shortly after we got married, we started talking about starting a family. We were reminded by some that we were 21 and 22 years old and have plenty of time to start a family. But there was this gut feeling I had that we would struggle with trying to conceive. After about 8 months of trying, we decided to see my doctor to seek advice and/or testing. After numerous tests on the both of us, we found out it was me— my body is the reason we are not conceiving a precious baby. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Despite it being him in a wheelchair, he could still make a baby perfectly fine. It was me that was the issue. We tried medication after medication and procedure after procedure. Nothing was working. Finally, after about five years of trying I was mentally, physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually exhausted. How could God do this to us when we have been so faithful to him and this plan for our lives that we did not choose?

Adoption had always been on our hearts. Like many with adoption in mind, we planned to have biological children first and seek adoption when our children are a bit older. While that was always OUR plan, it apparently was not HIS plan for us. After a lot of prayer, we researched and were approved by a Texas adoption agency on December 4, 2015. Each month would pass and we continued to be a little more anxious. Haven’t we waited for a baby long enough over the years? Our hearts would sink every time the adoption agency would call. We finally received THE call after 7 months that a precious birth mom chose us to love and parent her baby. What a gift! About a week later, we were able to wrap our arms around a selfless woman that God led to choose us. We were able to meet with her several times before our Tucker was born in October.

Husband in wheelchair holds sign with wife who stands beside him saying, "We're adopting"
Bailey Lane Photography – Austin, Texas

Tucker was brought into this world with so much love and happiness. We were privileged to share so much time with him and his birth mom in their hospital room. After all the papers were signed, they were both released from the hospital and we were able to take our precious two-day old blessing home. While I wanted nothing more than to fill our home with more love, baby cries and dirty diapers, a part of me will be forever left in that moment of leaving the hospital. We drove away with his birth mom standing by the exit doors along with our adoption director. We all waved goodbye. They were smiling, and I was in the back seat with my son flooded with tears. This woman truly loves her precious boy so much that she chose to carry him, give birth and choose someone else that could provide a better life than she could at that point in her life. What a woman! We were truly blessed that the State of Texas recognized what has been in our hearts from day one. Our Tucker’s adoption was finalized on May 4, 2017, in a Dallas County court room. Still to this day, we have contact with his birth mom and speak with her weekly. She is always so kind to send us letters by mail and online messages that she is thinking of us. She is the most thoughtful and compassionate individual.

Husband in wheelchair holds adopted newborn while wife stands beside him
Bailey Lane Photography – Austin, Texas
Newborn adopted baby laying on back swaddled in blanket with message written on it
Bailey Lane Photography – Austin, Texas

We knew from the start we were wanting to have more children. We were just unsure again of how that would happen. Shortly after Tucker turned one last October (2017), Ty and I discussed and prayed about how we wanted to grow our family again and when. After going back and forth, we figured that either heading back to the doctor or starting the adoption process over again would take some time. After a lot of prayers, we decided in January that we would see our infertility specialist and see if there was anything new since we last saw him a couple years ago. To our surprise, there had been a new procedure they offered, and after an ultrasound, they confirmed I was a candidate. First, our doctor wanted to try a couple rounds of medications that I have tried in the past. We did… and nothing. Surprise! With the help of our specialist, we decided it was time to move forward.

Woman wearing hair net and mask sits up in bed at fertility clinic
Courtesy of Amber Ryan

On Friday, March 30th, after taking many pills and injections, we went in for an ultrasound. We received the crushing news that I was not producing enough eggs that month to do the procedure. Really? After putting my body through hell with the pills, injections and stress and it’s not enough? Not to mention the thousands of dollars that were on the line. We were devastated. There was nothing I could do but give it to God. They scheduled me a follow up visit for Monday to check again. That weekend was Easter. We were just praying for an Easter miracle.

We were busy in and out of the car that weekend. Without fail, EVERY TIME I got in my car, this song was playing….

‘I know if You wanted to You could wave Your hand. Spare me this heartache, and change Your plan

And I know any second You could take my pain away. But even if You don’t, I pray. Help me want the Healer, More than the healing. Help me want the Saviour, More than the saving. Help me want the Giver, More than the giving. Oh help me want You Jesus, More than anything.’

It was ‘More than Anything’ by Natalie Grant. I sang it every time and just cried out to God! While DNA is not important to us, I just wanted to experience pregnancy once. Is that too much to ask for? Am I not worthy enough?

Monday came back around and I went shopping before my appointment to help me feel a little better. Everyone that knows me well, knows I am really early everywhere I go. This time, I was almost late to my appointment. I was not ready to hear the news. That’s enough heartbreak! I checked in and nervously waited to be called back. I was so convinced it was going to be the same old news, I told Ty not to even waste his time taking off work. There I was, waiting on this exam table for my ultrasound, alone, and crying out to God one. more. time. before it is decided what will happen this month. My doctor was out that day so I saw another specialist. He came in and said, ‘wow, I’m impressed. You have enough eggs to do this procedure.’ Wait, what? Are you sure you are looking at this right? I was blown away! Before I left the office, I was scheduled for a procedure on April 5th and 10th, that would later reveal we were pregnant for the very first time after trying for 2,481 days. God is good!

Woman who struggled with fertility is pregnant standing beside crib in baby's nursery
Courtesy of Amber Ryan

Here I am now 8 months pregnant with a precious baby boy that is due in December! We are feeling extremely grateful for His goodness and loving us through all of our doubts of His perfect plan.

Is our life perfect? No way, far from it. But at the end of the day, we are healthy, grateful and loved. What more can you ask for?”

Pregnant woman stands while husband in wheelchair kisses her stomach in open field
Trilby Trayler at Twenty Toes Photography
Pregnant woman and husband in wheelchair hold up balloons that spell out "baby" with their son standing between them
Trilby Trayler at Twenty Toes Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amber Ryan of Westphalia, Texas. Do you have a similar journey? We’d like to hear your story. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

Read more stories like this:

‘This is where I snapped the last living photo of my kids.’ You’re not supposed to bury your children. Your kids are supposed to bury you.’: Mom loses kids in car accident, discovers outdated car seat safety laws

‘We waited up for Daddy to come home. I called him and it went to voicemail. At 4 a.m. I got a life-changing call. ‘Oh, no honey, he didn’t survive.’: Woman loses boyfriend in car accident, ‘Hug your loved ones tight’

‘I woke up hanging from my seat belt. ‘Can you move your legs?’ They hung like dead meat.’: Woman paralyzed from car accident, ‘My mind, soul, and spirit remained untouched’

‘I hopped in the driver’s seat instead of letting him drive. I gently pressed the gas pedal, no one in sight. Then everything went…silent.’: After car accident with son, mom says ‘don’t let the ‘wrappers’ in life get in the way’

Provide hope for someone struggling. SHARE this beautiful story on Facebook with your friends and family.

 Share  Tweet