By JOY BROWN
A Michigan mother has emailed Mayor Lydia Mihalik an “open love letter to the residents of Findlay,” which expresses gratitude to those who helped her son after he was injured in a car accident near Arlington.
Mihalik said she was “overwhelmed by the amount of pride” she felt after reading it.
Nicole Muns’ May 12 letter, notable for its thoroughness and emotional detail, highlighted people’s reactions that helped save her son’s life.
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reported that on the afternoon of May 7, 22-year-old Ryan Muns lost control of his Pontiac Grand Prix on U.S. 68 near Jackson Township 25. The car went left of center and hit an oncoming truck.
His mother said Ryan suffered a brain stem injury, spinal compression fractures, a deep forehead laceration from the car’s mangled metal roof, and a broken femur.
“Kim Petry Ward, a resident of Springfield, Ohio, was a witness to the accident,” Muns wrote. “She was the first person to arrive at Ryan’s side and there she stayed, holding my son’s hand, until the fire department arrived.”
“An unknown man, some beautiful, unknown man, climbed into the back seat of a demolished car and held my son’s head and neck immobile until help could arrive,” Muns wrote.
Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Kris Otto, Lt. Cris Bell, and the Arlington Fire Department “were on the scene within moments,” Muns said. “Kim described the fire department as a ‘well oiled machine,’ telling us that everyone knew their job and they went immediately to it.”
“I received the call that all parents dread from Lieutenant Bell that Ryan had been involved in a serious accident and that my husband and I needed to come to Ohio right away,” Muns said. “It was the longest drive of our lives, three hours of mind-numbing fear.”
But from the moment they entered Findlay, Muns said they “were taken care of.”
“The staff at Blanchard Valley Hospital saved our son. Dr. (Steven) Haman is a rock star. Dr. (Robert) Hollis is perfection. The nursing staff is exemplary. I feel I must repeat. The nursing staff is EXEMPLARY. The kindness shown to our boy helped calm him and us. They handled Ryan with gentleness and compassion and have earned our utmost respect and gratitude.
“People on the street greeted two strangers, frantic for their son, with smiles and greetings, as if we were old friends. Storekeepers extended themselves for our benefit. Awakening Minds Art opened their door after closing and gave me a paint brush because I had forgotten mine in the rush to get to Ohio, which allowed me to draw and paint to calm myself through the long, terrifying hours of Ryan’s early recovery. The Guitar Ranch helped us find a small guitar that Ryan could play in the hospital bed to test his neurologic status. The staff at the Findlay Inn made sure to inquire after Ryan every time we came back to the hotel to grab a few minutes of sleep. Cooper Tire put a new set of tires and brakes on my car in record time.
“We live in a small town, too, and your people made us feel like we were home,” Muns wrote.
Ryan is back home with his family in Bruce Township, Michigan, and continuing to recover, she said. “We have our beloved son and our two other boys have their big brother thanks to God’s grace and the wonderful people of Findlay, Ohio. Thank you, one and all. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
The letter is signed by Dan, Nicole, Ryan, Connor, and Liam Muns.
Mayor Mihalik said the letter moved her to tears.
“The letter was so beautiful and it touched my heart,” she said.
“We are incredibly blessed and fortunate to live, work, worship, and play in such a wonderful place, a place that stretches beyond our corporation boundaries,” Mihalik said.
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