Youngest Sutherland Springs shooting victim doing well a year later

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Courtesy: Rusty Duncan

It’s hard to believe Ryland Ward spent two months in the hospital last year after the deadly church shooting in Sutherland Springs. Friends say he's doing remarkably well.

Ryland was shot several times when a gunman opened fire on the congregation at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. The attack a year ago today left 26 people dead, including Ryland’s stepmother and two sisters.

He spent two months in a San Antonio hospital and made headlines with his request for cards since he’d have to spend Christmas in a hospital bed.

Students from Irma Marsh Middle School in the Castleberry Independent School District heard about his wish and decided to do their part. The North Texas students sent dozens of Christmas cards to Ryland and his friend Zoe, who was also shot.

Now Ryland is competing in Tae Kwon Do tournaments with his coach, Rusty Duncan. Duncan was the firefighter who saved him after the shooting.

Ryland is training to get his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do, doing great in school and doing outstanding with his therapy. He's a normal 6-year-old, Duncan said.

Over the weekend, the congregation in Sutherland Springs remembered the victims of the deadly attack. The old sanctuary has been turned into a memorial while a larger church is being built next door.