WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
The new foster mom was frightened when she saw the boy for the very first time, believing he couldn’t possibly survive. At that time, the tiny boy weighed only 8 pounds (approx. 4 kg) even though he was 7 years old. Afterward, his new foster parents took him back to their home in the United States … and just look at him now!
When Priscilla Morse and her husband, David, from Nashville, Tennessee, saw the picture of a small boy from an orphanage in Bulgaria, immediately the couple decided to adopt him.
The boy was shockingly underweight. However, despite having seen his picture already, when they arrived at the orphanage to collect their son in 2015, Mrs. Morse could hardly believe her eyes. She thought the nurses had made a mistake—the 7-year-old boy in front of her was so small for his age.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 6, 2016
But after confirming that this boy was indeed the one, she was horrified by what she saw. The boy was on the brink of death.
“He was bones and skin, he literally looked like a skeleton,” Mrs. Morse told InsideEdition in 2016. “The first thing that went through my head was, ‘he’s going to die.’”
Not only was the boy, named Ryan, all skin and bones, but his whole body was also covered in hair due to malnutrition.
“The first meeting was pretty scary,” said Mrs. Morse. At the time, she had feared the child was going to die before they even had a chance to take him to the hospital.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) December 7, 2016
After the adoption procedure was finalized and they landed back home in Nashville in November 2015, the couple took him straight to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
“I had never in my life seen doctors look at a child and burst into tears,” Morse said. “They did call social services. They said, ‘I’m sorry, he’s probably going to die.’”
Ryan spent more than a month in the hospital. When they first tried feeding him through a tube, he had refeeding syndrome, which meant that it was difficult introducing food into his system.
The boy also suffered from other afflictions such as cerebral palsy, dwarfism, scoliosis, microcephaly, and severely clubbed feet.
In case you needed to see the cutest thing ever…this was Ryan’s first bath after being “home”.
Finally, after returning to his new home, Ryan now lives with his adopted parents and their two biological sons, 13-year-old Dylan and 7-year-old Jack, as well as their adopted 7-year-old daughter, McKenzie, who has Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect. She was adopted from Russia in 2012.
Mrs. Morse was also adopted when she was young. Her eldest brother was a special-needs child and passed away at age 9.
“I was pretty young when he passed away, [but] I remember how much my parents loved him in spite of all his special needs,” she said. “I wanted to give that to a child that was given up because of his special needs. Everyone is deserving of a family.”
Thanks to everyone who is buying up grab bags for Ry Guy! I hope Jamie doesn’t kill me for posting this pic but it…
Under his new family’s loving care, Ryan gradually gained weight and strength. The hair covering his body has disappeared as well. And, after several months, he was able to enroll in grade 3 in public school, where he continues to work toward the goals his doctors set for him. In just over a year, he gained 15 pounds (approx. 7 kg).
The couple learned it could take years for Ryan to fully recover from the physical and psychological trauma of his early life at the orphanage. Still, they remain positive, believing Ryan will improve continually. What matters most is that he is loved and now has proper care.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 20, 2016
Ryan then, vs Ryan now 🤣 This is why he needs a new chair, those long legs almost touch the floor and his booty is too big for the seat lol
“You can tell he’s just a happy little boy. He looks like he has hope now,” Mrs. Morse said.
The mom told Today: “No one should be written off if they have special needs just because it’s going to be hard. Life is hard anyway, so you adjust and you learn, because these kids—they are so worthy.”
In June 2019, Ryan celebrated his 11th birthday. He no longer looked like the malnourished child but had the appearance of a cheerful and healthy boy. His progress is truly miraculous!
Watch the video: