PLEASANT HILL (KPIX) — A high school community is rallying behind an teenager who suffered a life-changing injury. Ryan Joseph was hurt during a wrestling match last week. He is now paralyzed from the neck down.
At College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, the school’s webpage calls the 16-year-old sophomore, “everyone’s friend.”
Joseph suffered a C4 spinal cord injury in a Junior Varsity wrestling match, last week.
The high school’s athletic coach Jim Keck spoke on behalf of the family.
“This is the only time I’ve ever seen something like this happen, said Keck. “It was not an illegal move, it was not a move that was done with any type of malice, something that when most people in the stands saw happen, didn’t think much of it.”
Joseph competed in wrestling and lacrosse at the high school.
He was wrestling in the 160-pound weight class when he suffered the spinal cord injury.
The son of former Del La Salle football and wrestling Hall of Famer Tom Joseph is now at the trauma center at John Muir in Walnut Creek .
“The first thing that Tom said when I saw him at the hospital, I saw him Saturday, it was really really fresh, was, ‘I’ve got a son — his brain is in perfect working condition, he’s still joking with us,’ and I think that’s whats gonna get them through.’
The wrestling team is designing t-shirts that read “Falcon Family Wrestling for Ryan.”
“it’s really devastating, because he was very [much] about sports, athletic stuff and passionate toward other people,” said fellow student Kayli Shimoto. “When people found out, all his friends and teachers, like, it’s just really sad.”
The school continues to update the student body on how Ryan is doing and counselors were on campus Tuesday to talk with students.
Meanwhile, Ryan’s family says he has really appreciated all the cards and messages that have come his way to the hospital.