10-year-old Sutherland Springs church shooting survivor prepares for 31st surgery

Ryland Ward still struggling with injuries as well as PTSD almost 5 years later

Next week, 10-year-old Ryland Ward will enter University Hospital for his 31st surgery after being shot five times during the 2017 Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church massacre that killed 26 people.

SAN ANTONIO – Next week, 10-year-old Ryland Ward will enter University Hospital for his 31st surgery after being shot five times during the 2017 Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church massacre that killed 26 people.

His sisters and step-mom didn’t survive the shooting.

“It’s crazy to me to see a child so young and so small go through something so tragic but still be strong,” said Ryland’s mother, Chancie McMahan.

Ryland’s mental health is a daily struggle, and his nightmares have gotten worse through the years. The recent shooting in Uvalde triggered his PTSD, according to his mother.

“It brought up memories from him being put through what he went through,” McMahan said about her son. “He saw everything and remembers it.”

Ryland is still physically dealing with his injuries with one surgery after another since 2017.

The demands of another surgery are also putting a strain on the family financially, and McMahan has to take time off from work to help her son recover.

“You know I’m panicking because I don’t know what I’m going to do because I’m not getting any help,” McMahan said.

Despite that burden, McMahan is pushing through, making sure her son gets the best help he can get.

“For all the mamas out there that are having to be there for their kids or their loved ones, just don’t ever give up,” McMahan said. “I mean, I will never give up.”

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter.

Rick Medina is a Video News Editor at KSAT. A graduate of the University of Texas' prestigious Radio-Television-Film program, he has been in the news business for more than 20 years. Rick is also a documentary filmmaker, helming the award-winning film festival favorites, “The Opossum Begins” and “Amigoland.” He is originally from Brownsville.