once a pilot with West Jet and always an avid traveler, was injured on March 30, 2016 while swimming in Maui, Hawaii. A wave drove his head in the sand and he was instantly paralyzed. He spent 9 ½ months in hospital and in rehab. Jim is now a total quadriplegic without feeling or movement below his armpits.
While his injury has changed their lives substantially, Jim and his wife, Isabelle, continue to travel the world and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge with others who wish to travel.
Please email Jim with any questions, and follow him on Facebook to keep up with his latest adventures!
and so it begins...
On March 30th, 2016, Jim Ryan had a terrible accident while on vacation in Maui, Hawaii. On April 1st, 2016 his wife, Isabelle wrote a letter to her friends on Facebook detailing the accident. Below is her post from that day.
Aloha to all my friends,
Two days ago my life took an unpredictable turn. I have asked my best friend and loving wife to help me tell you the story.
Wednesday March 30, 2016 was as I always say: "another perfect day in paradise" in beautiful Maui. Isabelle and I woke up early to the sounds of crashing waves and birds singing. We made wild passionate love, ate breakfast on the Lanaii and talked about our retirement plans. Then we packed up to go to Little Beach. We set up our sun tent and soaked in the sunshine. We decided to cool off in the water. And this is the part of the story that I have to hand over to Isabelle as she is the one who knows how it went.
We had finished cooling off and were making our way back to the shore. Standing in water at waist level, as always we were both facing the water and close together. As the waves approached, Jim said to me "You have to dive under this one...Ready?" And this is where life changed forever. I came up to the surface and as we always do, I looked for Jim. That was always the deal. I look for him, he looks for me. Except that he never came up. I found him quickly floating face down. I grabbed him, turned him around best I could and started calling for help. The response on the beach restored my faith in humanity. Guys on the beach came running, people were on their phones calling for help, life guards from Big Beach climbed over the rock cliffs that separate the two beaches and somehow were there - but time stood still. CPR applied. I will skip over the traumatic details. It was nothing short of miraculous to watch rescue crews do what they excel at. Jim was carried over the cliffs to a waiting ambulance. We have been in ICU in Wailuku, Maui ever since.
Status? Prognosis? Rather hold off on those for now, but I do want to say this: life changes in an instant. We all know it yet we let our hectic lifestyles overshadow what is truly important. Have you hugged your loved ones today and told them what they mean to you? And if Jim Ryan could speak he would say "happy wife, happy life". And ALWAYS fly westjet because that is what he plans to do to get home.
Keep the love coming our way.