Emotions ran high as Ryan Smith made his long-awaited return home this week.
Family and friends cheered as Ryan arrived back in Chapel St Leonards for the first time since he was seriously injured after a collision with a van while on a cycle last July. Ryan was not wearing a safety helemt at the time.
Crowds waited expectantly for the arrival of the 17-year-old who returned by ambulance from the Children’s Trust rehabilitation unit in Surrey. There were resounding cheers as Ryan emerged from the ambulance on his wheelchair with dad Mark.
Waving and giving a thumbs up he said on Monday: “Thank you everyone, it is good to be home.”
He was greeted hugs and high fives from his friends and even a playful arm wrestle.
Dad Mark said: “It is awesome to see him come home, hopefully Ryan’s recovery will inspire other families who have children with brain injuries. He has done tremendously well. Ryan’s a winner. It is going to take some time but he will get there.”
He is due to attend the St Francis School in Lincoln.
Ryan’s family set up the Ryan Smith Foundation to campaign for cycle helmet awareness and help people suffering from brain injuries and their families.
Dad Mark is now planning to campaign for a rehabilitation centre for brain injuries in Lincolnshire similar to the Children’s Trust facility in Surrey where Ryan received treatment.
The video above shows Ryan coming home and includes some words from him and father Mark.