Vineyard Elementary wears pink to support classmate hit by car

Oct 21, 2022, 6:23 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2022, 11:39 am

VINEYARD, Utah — Students and staff at Vineyard Elementary School wore pink shirts, socks and shoes on Friday in a show of support for 11-year-old Ryder Pearson, who was hit by a car last week.

After spending nine days at Primary Children’s Hospital, Ryder was released Friday evening and was headed home. The family said they had seen miracles with his recovery.

“He had three brain bleeds and a skull fracture — hitting the back of his head,” said family friend Lindsay Christensen, who organized a GoFundMe for the family.

The description on the GoFundMe* said there have been a lot of ups and downs and there is still a lot that is unknown about the future.

“Anything we can do to keep Ryder, encourage him to keep fighting,” Christensen said. “We’re just trying our best to lift their spirits because he definitely has a long road ahead of him.”

The support from the community has been pouring in for the sixth grader.

“We just want to say thanks to our family and friends and community and the school for showing so much support of Ryder,” said a statement from his mom, Mary Pearson. “He has felt so loved and encouraged to get better and get home and be with the people who love him.”

In addition to the pink clothing, there were balloons and a large banner in front of the school with the words “Ryder Strong.” Students also wore homemade bracelets with the same phrase.

“We just knew it was his favorite color, so we just started telling everyone to wear pink,” said friend Jett Leishman.

Classmates gathered at recess and chanted Ryder’s name. They said they miss their friend who makes everyone laugh.

“He’s really funny,” said classmate McKay Christensen. “Everybody loves him and everybody thinks that he’s a really good friend.”

Ryder’s teacher said students started organizing on their own to find ways to show support.

“One class, they passed notes the first day they found out, saying, ‘Wear pink tomorrow. Wear pink tomorrow,’” said teacher Chris DeAdder.

Friends also visited Ryder at the hospital and brought him get-well letters from school and a matching pink shirt. They also played board games with him.

“He’s got a great personality. He’s always smiling — just happy,” DeAdder went on to say about Ryder. “Kind of a little jokester and he has so many friends here.”

Students and teachers said they can’t wait to welcome Ryder back to school.

“The first time they see him, there’s just going to be a huge cheer because he’s so well liked,” DeAdder said.

“He’s going to love to come back and be able to do more stuff than just sit in bed all day at the hospital,” Leishman said.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Vineyard Elementary wears pink to support classmate hit by car