It Was All Our Pleasure
Marine Ryan West returns to Renown Regional Medical Center to say thank you to the doctors and nurses who put him on the road to wellness.
Marine Ryan West wears a simple black wristband etched with the names of the fallen marines who lost their lives in the explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot on March 29, 2013.
Ryan, 36, was one of the injured taken to the ER at Renown Regional Medical Center. He had shrapnel embedded in his right shoulder and lower right leg. But it was his left leg that suffered the most damage, with fractures in his femur and shrapnel in the ankle.
In total, Ryan endured seven surgeries — three at Renown — to repair the damage, and he’s been undergoing physical therapy ever since.
On March 13 Ryan returned to Renown Regional. With his Marine dress uniform on and his wife, Keavy, by his side, Ryan was there for one simple reason — to say thanks for the treatment and care he received in the wake of the explosion.
Ryan and Keavy met with employees and physicians in the ER and Surgery, as well as nurses and other employees on patient floors. It was one part of a two-day trip to the area, which also included stops at the two memorials in Hawthorne dedicated to the seven Marines who were killed in the explosion that day.
Although he only remembers bits and pieces of his time at Renown, the trip back has been very rewarding. “One of the things I had a problem with [during my stay] was not being able to say thanks to anybody,” he recalls. “So just to see some of the faces of the people here, even the ones I don’t remember, was important to me.”
Ryan agrees that he was worried about his future after the accident. “I think everybody would be, to be honest with you,” he relates. Keavy, who remained at Ryan’s beside throughout that difficult and trying time, admits to fearing for her husband. “I was scared to death that he was going to lose his leg,” she recalls. “But everyone was trying to reassure us that everything would be fine and that Ryan would be walking again.”
Ryan, a Marine for 17 years, no longer works in the field as part of his role as a Chief Warrant Officer. Instead, he has a desk job advising commanders and hopes to retire by the end of the year. Currently he and Keavy live in Lafayette, Ind., and Ryan is preparing for the next phase of his life, which includes being a father to his first child with Keavy (due in August) and his 5-year-old stepson, Ryne.
Ryan looks forward to what the future holds. “I’ll be leaving the military behind and becoming a family man.”