7-year-old boy’s feeding tube ripped out at park

Ryland Gallagher - FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — What was supposed to be a fun day at the splash pad at America the Beautiful Park almost turned into a trip to the emergency room for one Colorado Springs boy.

Ryland Gallagher is a 7-year-old boy who has cystic fibrosis, and is fed overnight by a feeding tube attached to his stomach.

When Ryland was playing tag in the park with his two brothers, another little boy came up to play with them, and pulled his feeding tube out of his stomach.

“A kid thought it was a sticker, and then he like, pulled it out,” Ryland said.

His mother, Tammy Handley, said he started crying, and they knew they had to leave right away.

“He uses a feeding tube to give him extra calories,” Handley said, “[Some people with cystic fibrosis] have a high calorie diet, because of the mucus, it kind of slows down the digestive process.”

Handley said if they would have waited any longer, they might have had to go to the ER for Ryland to get surgery to put it back in. Luckily, Ryland’s parents could do it themselves because they caught it in time.

“It closes, and we’ll have to find a doctor and go to the operation room,” Ryland said.

Handley and Ryland have advice for parents and kids — keep your hands to yourself.

“Educate your kids. If you see someone with a feeding tube and you know that your child is playing with that kid, educate them to keep their hands away,” Handley said.

“Don’t pull my tube out, because then I’ll have to [get] the surgery again,” Ryland said.

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