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"Ryan Hutchings - On the Road to Recovery"

by Denise Wattles

Ryan Hutchings

December 1998

I apologize for not having submitted a follow-up report on Ryan Hutchings before now but his recovery has been slow and changing day by day since he was shot on September 24, 1998. He has been through at least three different surgeries to repair the extensive damage that was done. It was not until late November, seven weeks after his injury, that Ryan was able to take anything orally, including water. Even at this point, December 2nd, he cannot eat and depends on a shunt inserted in his chest for nourishment. Most of his last nine weeks have been spent in the hospital with the exception of a few days here and there. He is still having trouble with his pancreas and until that straightens out he cannot eat solid food. There is no way to gauge when this problem will clear up. In addition, he has 2 drainage tubes inserted 5" in his back that have to be removed at the rate of 1 inch per week. Danny Paplinsky, the man that first admitted shooting Ryan, has now pleaded innocent to the charges of pre-meditated kidnapping, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Danny is being held in the Redding jail on a $500,000 bond with a trial to take place in March 1999. The gun used in the assault was a .38 caliber. It is my understanding that the injuries were so serious because the bullet hit a rib on the way in and "bounced around" injuring his intestines, pancreas, colon, kidney, aorta and spleen. The bullet then stayed lodged in his body until he reached the hospital. I have no doubt that Ryan will recover, but he needs the support of all his friends to get him through the tough days when he gets discouraged at how long he has been injured and how long he feels it will take him to get "back in shape". Ryan is one of the most well known and most talented armwrestlers in the World when he was shot and he expects nothing short of that same excellence from himself when he recovers. Speak to Ryan daily and let him know that it won’t be long until his body will be repaired enough for him to start training. He is hosting the 1999 Double Tree Inn California State Pro-Am Armwrestling Championship in Redding, California on February 27 & 28, 1999 which also gives him some incentive to keep going. I know he would love to see you at this event as he has worked hard to make this a great tournament. In 1998 the Fox Sports Network covered it (thanks to Dave Devoto) and I am still seeing re-runs on TV. Bill Collins is holding the "Reno Reunion" tournament at the Sands Hotel in Reno in January and it is my hope and plan that Ryan will be in attendance. It is armwrestling and the people in armwrestling that have kept him excited about life and getting better. I really don’t know how Ryan feels about me giving details about his injuries but I do know that many people are concerned about him and how he is doing. The cards and letters you have sent him have meant a lot and have been an important factor in his recovery. The thoughts and letters are still very much needed through his continued battle to get well. You can send correspondence to: Ryan Hutchings, Box 491975, Redding, California 96049 and his wife, Leace, will make sure he gets it. Please keep Ryan and Leace in your thoughts and prayers.



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