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Faces of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Ryan Milley's Story - Meningococcal Meningitis

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Published on May 4, 2010

On June 21, 1998, Father's Day Evening, Ryan became ill. He came home from work early and laid down. [He was fine earlier we went to lunch after church to celebrate Father's Day.] He complained of an earache and he had a fever. No other symptoms. As the early morning approached after a night of Tylenol and sleep, Ryan became sick at his stomach. He got up to get a drink.
His dad awoke from sleep and rushed to his side. He ask, "Ryan are you OK?" Ryan, a little surprised at his dad, said, "I am OK Dad." When I went to Ryan, his fever was 102.5°. I made him some tea and gave him Tylenol. I called the doctor. We had an appointment for 10 :30 a.m..

Ryan came into my room where I had just hung up from the doctor. He was weak, and in the dim light I noticed a rash on his stomach you could literally see his blood vessel rupturing all over his body. I realized my baby had Meningitis. I called the doctor and rushed him to the medical center. As we traveled, I kept watch over his pulse and tried to keep him with me. After 25 years in the medical profession, I knew my baby was in trouble.

As we arrived I helped Ryan from the van. He said, "My legs are numb Mom." His size 14 sandal fell off of his foot. I told him to leave it but he wanted it. I knelt down on my knees and I helped him put it back on. As we got to the elevator, Ryan said, "I can't feel my legs." I carried my 18 year old 6'2'' baby into the doctor, screaming for help. He was rushed to the ER. There were doctors and nurses everywhere working on him. He was hypotensive, heart rate 185 ~ 200 and he began to vomit blood. The nurse said , "Ryan you are vomiting we are going to put a tube down your throat." Ryan said, "I'm sorry." She began to cry and told me he was a good boy and could not believe this very sick young man was apologizing to her. . Ryan's Dad arrived as well as a few of our friends. Bob came into the room with us. I was telling our baby that I loved him and not to be afraid. We were losing Ryan. His father was trapped between the table where Ryan laid and the wall. I was in the corner praying. Ryan coded, his heart stopped. I tried to get to Bob, to take him out. Ryan's heart started on its' on, everyone was amazed. His EKGs show every second of this event. His dad told him, "Daddy loves you baby boy." Ryan rolled his head in his dads direction and said, "I know." Once again Ryan's heart stopped. We left the room as CPR and advanced life support was started. The doctor was praying out loud asking God to save this child. Ryan died at 10:53 a.m., June 22.1998, with Meningococcemia. (Meningococcal Meningitis)

There were over 500 people at Ryan's funeral. An invitation for salvation was given at our request. We are told over 100 people gave their life to the Lord. The night Ryan died A foreign exchange student and neighbor was at the house. In all the confusion I was able to pray with her and she accepted the Lord. She said, "God took one heart and gave another. "She wrote a beautiful testimony to God and Ryan. We took money from Ryan's wallet bought her a Bible with her name and their date and a frame with Ryan's and her picture. It is inscribed "From Heart to Heart Love Ryan"

Ryan was our only child. He was a beautiful young man. Loved by all who ever met him. He loved the Lord. He led several to the Lord in his short time on Earth including his grand mother, a teacher and several more because of his life and death since.
He spoke with a friend a few weeks before , he died. The friend told us he asked Ryan , "How do you get to Heaven? He said, Ryan told him. He asked Ryan what did he think Heaven was like? Ryan said, "I think it is a really cool place where everything is free (he was tight with his money) I will get to play golf with Jesus and He won't cheat like you guys! And the first thing I am going to do is tell that dude He needs some Dry Lops, those sandals want cut it!


The days are lonely without Ryan. His friends are here a lot...They are a gift from God.

We know God has our son and we have His.
See You Later Ryan!

Some forms of bacterial meningitis are vaccine preventable. Educate Yourself! Even better Vaccinate!

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