The Ramsdale family is remembering their loved one, Darien, after he passed away over the weekend.
Darien, 23, was a victim in last year’s Rock Island downtown district shooting. A stray bullet hit him in the neck, leaving him paralyzed and unable to talk. But within the last few months, Darien regained the ability to speak, along with movement in his hands and shoulders.
However, this past Friday night, Darien had a seizure and was moved to Genesis Medical Center – East Campus for further evaluation. Doctors found that Darien had bleeding on his brain, and had him transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City.
Once doctors there had a look at Darien’s condition, they determined nothing could be done to save him, and he passed away.
Darien’s family says he looked forward to continuing his recovery in rehab in the near future.
“He had goals, and to the end, he had finally got his goal to go to rehab,” said Wendy Ramsdale, Darien’s mother. “But it would’ve been a hard life. Even with rehab he would’ve had a hard life.”
Darien’s mother says Darien fought extremely hard to regain the ability to talk and move again. With both of those goals accomplished, she thinks his passing was God’s way of letting him rest.
“God gave him a break and said, ‘You know, you got those goals in, you made it, you did everything you set out for, you know? Let’s just let you rest now,'” Darien’s mother said.
Even though Darien and his family faced a lot of challenges with his recovery, his family says the process brought them closer together.
“[He] brought a close family even closer,” said Nick Ramsdale, Darien’s brother. “We’ve always been a very tight-knit family. That’s always been something that’s been important to each and every one of us, including him.”
Also, Darien’s mother says the last few months were some of the happiest of Darien’s life.
“He just enjoyed the people around him. He enjoyed his friends,” she said. “Even though he couldn’t move, he just really enjoyed everything … I think he was content. Even though he was not content with his body, he was content in his mind.”
Now, the Ramsdale family plans to celebrate Darien’s life next month rather than mourning, which they say is exactly how Darien would want it.
“He would’ve said, ‘Make sure you have a good party’,” Darien’s mother said. “He really wanted to be sure everybody was there. He was so looking forward to a party after rehab … that’s really what he wanted.”
Those who want to help the Ramsdale family can visit a GoFundMe page here.