Ryan Custer, Elder alum injured at Oxford party, considered for Chicago stem cell study

Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 19:41:10-04

OXFORD, Ohio -- Ryan Custer's father said this son is making progress, but still has a long way to go after he was hurt jumping into a makeshift pool at a party.

Custer, an Elder grad and basketball player at Wright State University, suffered a spinal injury when he jumped into the shallow pool April 8. Police had said he was jumping between someone's legs. His father, George Custer, said Tuesday that wasn't true, but did say Ryan did hit someone's knee during the jump. He also said his son had not jumped off a balcony.

Since then, Custer has been recovering and undergoing therapy at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He will go to Chicago Friday to be considered for a stem cell study at Rush University.

There has been some improvement over the past few days, according to George Custer.

"He is able to feel his fingers to the touch and he has slight movements in his fingertips," he said. "Right now, he has hardly any feeling below his legs, although he has felt us rub the top of his feet and he said there has been some tingling in his thighs and his feet."

Custer's parents spoke briefly with reporters at the hospital Tuesday, but didn't take any questions.

"There is no guarantee, but he will be evaluated for five days and, hopefully, he will pass the test that they are going to give him and he will receive an injection," George Custer said.

He also thanked the community and others for support. A Gofundme page has raised more than $84,000.

"Continue the prayers for him," George Custer said. "The more prayers we have, maybe God will answer our prayers and give him the healing that he needs."