PLEASANT HILL (KPIX 5) — Two years ago, College High School student Ryan Joseph was paralyzed during a wrestling match. On Wednesday he came back to the same wrestling event the school hosted, where it all happened, with a special message.
Joseph was paralyzed from the neck down during a school wrestling meet, where he suffered a spinal cord injury. Doctors didn’t expect him to walk again, but now he is back on his feet proving anything is possible.
Joseph is the kid known as “everyone’s friend.” He returned to the wrestling mat Wednesday, this time to share his gratitude.
“I just can’t thank everybody here enough for all of the help you have given me and my family,” he said to the crowd.
The fighter spent the last two years at a rehab facility in Colorado with no complaining coming out of his mouth.
“Being bummed out doesn’t get anything done,” he said. Now, he is back home and back at College High for his senior year.
“I’ve gone from basically being completely paralyzed to walking with crutches and I work out with all of my friends. Taking a class here. It’s been fantastic. So I’m getting my body back. It’s been great,” Joseph said.
His family and friends couldn’t be prouder.
“You know, we are all doing great. It’s been a big adjustment, obviously, to come back to be together again. It’s been huge,” said Kristin Joseph, Ryan’s mother.
“He is who he is–he is a strong minded kid–I’ve never seen anyone like him,” said friend Hunter Cantrell.
Joseph also wanted to come to the wrestling meet Wednesday so he could watch his sister compete.
“Hope she wins but if not I’m really proud,” he said.
“I’m really happy he is in the room cheering me on,” his sister said.
Joseph told me KPIX when he graduates, he plans to go to Diablo Valley College, where he’ll certainly befriend everyone there, too.