5-year-old Ryland Ward continues recovery from Sutherland Springs shooting

5-year old Ryland Ward and his mother, Chancie McMahan. (Photo: SBG San Antonio)

(KABB/WOAI) -- More than a month after a gunman opened fire in the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church, the family of 5-year-old Ryland Ward is speaking out.

And they admit, while they are hopeful Ryland will be home from the hospital soon, he has a long road to recovery.

Still, his great-uncle Earl McMahan knows there is much to be thankful for this holiday season.

“He’s doing really well," McMahan said. "At the beginning it was touch and go."

When Ryland arrived at University Hospital Nov. 5 , his family didn’t know what would happen. A gunman opened fire in the Sutherland Springs church, killing 26, including Ryland’s two sisters and step-mother. Ryland was shot five times.

"It's been tough," said Laura Baker, Ryland's grandmother.

Since then he’s had numerous surgeries, to repair his leg, arm, bladder and kidney.

“From day one, they fought hard to keep him alive and harder to make sure he stayed alive," McMahan said.

And while doctors and nurses were busy taking care of the physical, people around Texas and around the country have been trying to help the emotional and lift Ryland’s spirits, sending thousands of cards and well wishes.

“He receives these cards and his smile gets bigger with every card he opens up," McMahan said.

Ryland has moved out of the intensive care unit, but his family says they have many surgeries ahead and the recovery process will be long. They ask that everyone continue to pray for Ryland.

“We believe that Ryland has come as far as he has because of the power of prayer.”

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