11-Year-Old With Spina Bifida Surprised by Friends Before Her 48th Surgery

Ryan Neighbors, 11, who has spina bifida keeps her spirits high before surgery.

Thirty minutes before going into her 48th surgery, an 11-year-old Kentucky girl with spina bifida got a surprise visit from a group of friends holding up signs and wishing her well outside her hospital window. 

"We Love You Ryan,” was the message the crowd cheered as young Ryan Neighbors smiled.

Ryan, who was born with a birth defect that occurs when a baby's spinal cord fails to develop properly, has already had nearly 50 surgeries in her short life. For the past seven weeks, she has been at Norton Children's Hospital. And the little girl's loved ones hope she will be home in time for the holidays, WLKY reported.

Her latest surgery that took place on Friday felt a little different this time since she was not able to have her loved ones in the hospital before she went into for surgery, due to the hospital's COVID-19 restrictions, so some family friends got creative. 

De De Cox, a longtime family friend, arranged for the group to gather at the parking garage to show their support.

”It doesn't take a lot and what did we do today? We gave time. We all have time," organizer Cox, who was previously honored for granting dreams of chronically ill children, said to WLKY. Cox told the news outlet that she knew if the little girl could just see them and hear them, those few minutes could be enough to lift the little girl's spirits.

After seeing Ryan's reaction, it appeared it was worth it.


11-Year-Old Raises Nearly $50,000 for Kids With Cancer by Running

7-Year-Old With Cancer Makes Care Packages for Other Hospitalized Kids

Boy Thrown Off Viewing Platform at London's Tate Modern by Stranger Has Reportedly Begun Walking Again