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Josh's Story: The First and Last Hug From a Father

Josh Robison holds his infant son

Josh Robison entered the hospital in December 2013, complaining of flu-like symptoms.  There, it was determined that he was suffering from a staph infection. The culprit was a valve in his heart, and doctors performed surgery to replace the infected valve, so the future looked hopeful for this young student and soon-to-be-father.

Just three days later, with Josh still recovering in the hospital, his wife, Erica, gave birth to their infant son, Logan. Josh was able to be with them, and for a few quiet minutes, father and son met for the first time. 

Josh Robison in Hospital, holding newborn son, Logan

Only a few hours later, Josh began complaining of headaches, and further investigation revealed bleeding in his brain. He lost consciousness while doctors were performing a CAT scan. "Josh never regained consciousness," says his mother, Jodi.  The swelling cut off blood and oxygen to his brain stem. "It was obvious that no matter what they did, it was irreversible. If he did live, it wouldn't be the Josh that we knew." Josh was taken off from life support the following evening.

Friends have set up a fundraising effort to help cover medical expenses the family will be dealing with, and Erica published a written statement that indicates the depth of her courage:

"This is without question the most difficult experience of my life, but it has warmed my heart to be so overwhelmed with love and support from friends and strangers alike. I see so many people wanting to serve in so many ways. The financial support will help ensure that Logan will get an education and everything else he needs, but what will really bless and heal our hearts is the outpouring of thoughts, prayers and messages of love. We are so thankful."

While there is a sense of profound tragedy about this loss, family members are quick to point out that Erica has something else to hold on to. She was "sealed" to Josh in a religious ceremony the day the couple was married. Erica and Josh believe that family relationships continue after death, and the sealing ceremony links them together eternally as a family.

The Ryan's Lion Organization expresses sympathy to the Robison family in their time of difficulty. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Rachel's Story: It's Going to Be OK

Rachel with her Ryan's Lion


In October of 2012, my dad attempted suicide. My mom and I left early that morning with my uncle and cousin to go to Utah to visit family. We said good-bye to him before we left, and then we headed out the door.

We were well on our way to our destination when my mom received a call from my oldest brother, who had arrived at our house just after the police and ambulance had come, telling her that dad had attempted to take his own life. I remember being in the backseat, very very scared as my mom had a panic attack. She was bawling and she was so scared and was crying so hard that she couldn't tell us anything, and we didn't
know what was wrong.

My uncle figured out what had happened and kept telling me, "Your dad's going to be okay! I promise, your dad's going to be okay!" I didn't know what had happened and I had no idea. Had he gotten in an accident? Had he had a heart attack? For about 30 minutes, I worried and worried, crying, and not knowing what to do. Finally my mom calmed down, and we pulled over at a gas station to re-fill the car. My mom got in the backseat with me and told me my dad had tried to kill himself. I didn't know what to think, or what to do. I would never have thought that my dad was capable of such a thing! Suicide always seemed so unreal to me, something that only existed on the news. For the next hour, I cried and cried, and my brain just couldn't comprehend what had happened.

We finally got to my grandma's house, and my uncle told my sister and brother-in-law and grandma and aunt what had happened before my mom and I went in the house. Everyone was crying, and it felt like I was in a nightmare. Everyone was just crying and hugging each other, and it was silent. My uncle kept getting updates from my older brother and other people that were with my dad at the hospital. It was so scary and frightening to not know if he was going to be okay or not. We received many updates and each one confirmed that my dad was going to be okay. We went back home a couple of days later, and visited him in a hospital that he had been moved to that was a couple of hours away from where we lived. I was so sad and scared and angry.

My dad finally came home a couple of days later. I started going to counseling to help me deal with this trauma that I had experienced. I have been going for a whole year now, and I have learned and grown so much over the past year. It has been a very hard and difficult year, but I have changed a lot, and learned about a lot of "tools" that can help me through life. I have been able to process my trauma and learn to deal with it. My uncle had given me a Ryan's Lion late last year to help me remember that I am brave and courageous, and that I can do hard things.

Throughout this past year, through all of the strugglings I have had with this trauma, my mom has been a big help and support for me, even though she was greatly affected by this experience, too. She would always remind me and tell me: "It's going to be okay!" And I had a hard time agreeing with her at the beginning, but as the year went by, it was easier to see that it really would be okay. And now, I see that I am a survivor, and that things are getting better, and that "it is going to be okay!"

Emily's Story - She Controls Diabetes, It Doesn't Control Her


Emily with trophy
October 1, 2012  Emily was taken to the pediatrician after she had been feeling nauseous, weak, dehydrated, and unable to catch her breath.  It was a parent's nightmare as the pediatrician told us that she needed to go immediately to the hospital in an ambulance.  Her mom was able to ride in the ambulance with her to the hospital.  

They tried to get an IV in her and were unable to find a vein.  Two miles into the ride the paramedic checked Emily's glucose, then told the driver she was hot.  The driver immediately turned on the lights and siren and sped through the streets to the hospital.   At the hospital we were met in the ER waiting room by a doctor and a nurse.  They rushed us into a treatment room where a pediatric hospitalist was finally able to get an IV in after almost an hour of trying to find a vein. She was diagnosed in the ER as having D.K.A or Diabetic Ketone Acidosis.  Emily's Glucose reading was 898 and the doctors were amazed she hadn't gone into a coma. We were told in the ER that Emily was the sickest child they had seen with DKA in almost 7 years.  She was immediately admitted into the hospital and put on saline.  We were told she was in critical condition and that they thought it would be days before she would be out of the woods.  She had a nurse assigned just to her that checked on her every hour on the hour.  The nurse would wake Emily up every hour and ask her a question to make sure her brain wasn't swelling.  After two days of getting checked every hour we were told that Emily had turned the corner she wasn't out of the woods yet but she was doing better.  Emily was put on insulin and we started learning everything we could about Juvenile Diabetes or Type 1 Diabetes with help from some of the diabetic trainers and nutritionists at the hospital.  
Emily was in the hospital for almost a week before she was able to come  home.  The Ryan's Lion she  received  has helped her cope with  this new trial in life.
Emily has been a Rock Star in  living with her diabetes she has shown strength and a strong belief that she controls her diabetes it doesn't control her.

3rd Annual Ryan's Lion Fundraiser Bake Sale

Ryan's Lion Bake Sale

It's time for the 3rd annual Ryan's Lion Fundraiser! Every year, Ryan's Lion Organization Volunteers spearhead a huge Bake Sale, and proceeds help us to fund our stock of Ryan's Lions to be donated to charitable organizations during the coming year.
This year, our goal is to fund an annual donation to the NICU at UVRMC, a contribution to a women's domestic violence shelter in Oregon, and other worthy causes. Join us from 8 a.m. to noon (or until the goodies are gone) for fresh baked goods including pies, home-baked artisan breads, granola, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and much more.  To donate baked goods, boutique items, or cash, please contact Karlyn at 801-471-4466.

Bake Sale Information:

when: Saturday, June 8, 2013 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.
where:  153 E 400 N Springville, Utah

 **Please note that Art City Days parade traffic will close Springville's Main Street from 9:50 - 11:30 a.m. 400 North is open to traffic, but if you are traveling northbound, you may have better success traveling north via 400 East in Springville, then turning west to find us. 

Photo: Luc, a Ryan's Lion supporter, spent his own savings to purchase a few brownies for himself and help fund a donation of a Ryan's Lion to another needy child. 

Reaching Out to Families in Sandy Hook

Girl on beach looking at driftwood Christmas Tree with star

The Ryan's Lion Organization, and Ryan's family all express our deepest sorrow for the families of victims in the Sandy Hook, Connecticut shootings. We have felt that it might be appropriate to do something for these families, but because families are already inundated with gifts, we have decided to set up a donation of Ryan's Lions that will go to another children's organization in honor of the children who died in the Sandy Hook incident.

If you are interested in contributing the cost of a Ryan's Lion that will be donated to a support group that passes on a Ryan's Lion to a child who has been a witness to or a victim of domestic violence, we are in need of funding to make it possible to contribute 15 lions to this organization. To contribute, simply purchase a "Ryan's Lion" and under "order comments," type a note letting us know you would like to donate the lion in memory of one of the victims in Sandy Hook. Or, you can contact us by clicking the link at the right to send us an email requesting more information.

Thank You

Ryan's Lion Organization

What NOT to Say...Comforting Those Who Are Grieving

When our son, Ryan was born, I noticed something almost immediately. I got extremely impatient with people who made insensitive comments in their efforts to comfort me. One that was especially hard was, "they can do so much for babies these days thanks to technology."

Premature Death of Our Son Causes Great Heartache

Our son, Roderick Denzel Hunt, was 31 years old when he ended his life prematurely.  He was serving in the military, having been deployed to Iraq two different times.  He was a good soldier and loved his military family almost as much as his parents, brothers and sisters.  We were a very close family.  However, his addictions to alcohol and prescription pain meds took over, compromising his mind and his body.  It came to a tragic end the evening of April 29th and the morning of April 30th, 2012, in Riverton, Utah.

Courage to Sing a New Song

My story starts on July 2, 2009. That was the day I tore my ACL and
shredded my meniscus so badly that even after the operation, thirty
percent of it was missing. Viewed with mature perspective, a blown out
knee isn't all that bad. But July second also happened to be the day
that I was recruited to play collegiate soccer- the day I watched all my
hopes and dreams come true, and then burn.

Tim's Story: No Fear Here!

Tim holding his prosthesis after Van Ness RotationplastyTim has never been one to complain about anything, especially about being in pain.  During the fall of 2010, Tim kept complaining about his left leg hurting just below his knee.  He had crashed his motorcycle in a race in early November and we noticed a small bump and a bruise just below his knee. 

Learn more about the Ryan's Lion Organization

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