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Years after tragedy, local man wants to show others hope with new book

Posted at 7:02 AM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 11:16:47-05

CINCINNATI — It has been 12 years since a car crash left Ryan Atkins paralyzed from the shoulders down, but Atkins hopes that others will find comfort in his new book.

In 2009, Atkins was a 21-year-old junior at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl Lindner School of Business. On Nov. 20, 2009, Atkins wrecked his SUV while driving on Interstate 75 in southern Kentucky. The crash left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.

"Doctors told me I would never, never walk again. Maybe even never go to breathe on my own again," Atkins said.

He said he struggled with coming to grips with his injuries and what happened.

"Either my life is now completely meaningless, or there must be a much bigger purpose in my life," Atkins said.

Then, Atkins said he fell in love with Stephanie Perry, his now wife. He said their love was a reason why he could keep going, and now, thanks to voice-to-text technology, Atkins is sharing that love through his new book "One Step Closer."

"I believe that when we, when we take a look at our struggles and hardships, through the perspective of a much bigger picture, recognizing that this story is not over yet," Atkins said. "I believe, and hope remains, and there's still a possibility for redemption of any situation..."