The first time his adoptive mother saw him, she couldn’t believe the child was still alive. He was so sick and tiny that it seemed impossible for him to survive.
At 7 years old, he weighed only 3.6 kilograms, and his adoptive parents brought him from Bulgaria to their new home in the United States.
Priscilla and David Morse, originally from Tennessee, saw the photo of the young boy at the Bulgarian orphanage and decided to adopt him immediately.
The child was severely malnourished, and they knew he needed urgent help. When the couple traveled to the orphanage to pick him up, they couldn’t believe what they saw. Although they had seen in the photos that the child needed a lot of assistance, being with him in person made them realize that he needed even more.
He was so small that they couldn’t believe he was 7 years old.AD
They couldn’t comprehend how a 7-year-old child could be so small. At one point, they even thought that the nurses had made a mistake.
However, after confirming that the child was indeed the right one, the couple was in shock because the child was on the verge of death.
“He was skin and bones, we literally saw a skeleton,” David told the local media. “The first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘This child is going to die.’”
His adoptive parents believed he was going to die.
But they decided to do everything possible to save his life. They named him Ryan, and despite being skin and bones, his entire body was covered in hair due to malnutrition.
“The first time we saw him was extremely shocking,” recounted Priscilla, who also believed that the child would die before reaching a hospital.
After completing the adoption process, they returned to the United States and admitted him to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
The doctors at the hospital broke down in tears when they saw him.
“I have never in my life seen doctors look at a child, get emotional, and cry,” the woman recounted. “They called Social Services and told us, ‘I’m sorry, he probably won’t make it.’”
Ryan spent over a month in the hospital. The first step was to feed him through a tube, but he had refeeding syndrome, which meant he had difficulty reintroducing food into his system.
For Priscilla and her husband, Ryan became their top priority in their family.
On top of that, Ryan had other medical issues such as cerebral palsy, scoliosis, dwarfism, microcephaly, and a severe case of flat feet.
Once he showed signs of improvement, he was able to go to his new home where he now lives with his adoptive parents, his two brothers, 13-year-old Dylan and 7-year-old Jack, and an adoptive sister, McKenzie, who has Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect.
The entire family, parents, and children, form a complete unit.
The couple adopted McKenzie from Russia in 2012. According to what they were informed, her older brother required special care and passed away at the age of 9.
Priscilla herself was also adopted as a child. Her older brother was a child with special needs who passed away at the age of 9.
“I was very young when he passed away, but I remember how much my parents loved him despite his special needs,” she recalls. “I wanted to give that to a child who would be overlooked because of their special needs. Everyone deserves a family.”
Under the care of the family, Ryan gradually gained weight and grew stronger. The hair that covered his body disappeared, and after several months, he was able to be admitted to school.
Ryan has made a remarkable recovery.
Thanks to medical care and love, the child regains his health.
In addition, Ryan continues to receive ongoing medical treatment, specifically designed for him. In just one year, he has gained over 7 kilograms in weight.
Priscilla and David understand that it will take many years for Ryan to fully recover physically and emotionally, especially considering the years he spent in the orphanage.
However, they remain positive and believe that Ryan will continue to improve. But above all, what matters most is that he receives the care and love he deserves.
“Now we can say he is a happy little boy. He looks hopeful,” his mother affirms, delighted to witness his daily progress.
Today, Ryan shines with the joy of a happy child!