Ryan Custer, Elder grad injured at Oxford party, thanks community for its support

CINCINNATI -- Ryan Custer tearfully thanked the community for its support at his prayer service Sunday.

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“I can’t thank you guys enough,” he said in front of a standing ovation at Elder High School’s Fieldhouse.

Custer, an Elder grad and Wright State freshman, suffered a traumatic spinal injury at a large party in April after he tried to jump into a shallow, makeshift pool.

Family and friends welcomed Custer home on Wednesday. He had been been recovering and undergoing therapy at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He also traveled to Chicago to be considered for a stem cell study at Rush University.

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Doctors injected 20 million stem cells into Custer’s neck, and HBO has been following his progress.

Ryan’s brother, Nick Custer, thanked the West Side community for being so uplifting to his family.

“It means the world to us. It just shows you what a special kid Ryan is as a 19-year-old kid going through this, it’s just overwhelming support,” he said.

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Nick said Ryan will continue rehabilitation in Cincinnati, and he said Ryan is looking forward to the start of Wright State’s season.

“Ryan wants to get back to the team as soon as possible, and they all want him to come back and help however he can. He misses them, definitely,” Nick said.