DUMAS, Ark. (KTHV) - The family of Ryan Smith is receiving an outpouring of support from their hometown of Dumas, after the 7-year-old ran into a tree limb during a skiing accident in Colorado.
According to Ryan's father, Jason Smith, the accident happened Thursday morning in Telluride, Colo. It was the boy's first ski trip, and he also took part in private lessons.
As a result to the accident, Ryan suffered a small fracture to the skull above his right eye and a concussion. Smith said his son is at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction with his family.
"First thing (we thought) was 'Is he going to be Ryan again?' He was still unconscious when I got word," says Daniel Smith, Ryan's uncle.
Ryan's father, Jason, recalled the crash.
"He had a helmet on, but he got hit right above his left eye, just right at the corner of his left eyebrow," said Jason Smith.
Ski Patrol quickly took the Ryan from Telluride, Colorado to Grand Junction. While doctors tended to him, word quickly spread back to Arkansas.
"We are southern so we love to visit at the hospital, cook and take meals to them and pat them on the back, and bless your hearts," says Fara Bottoms, Dumas High School Counselor.
'Blessing hearts' seemed a tall task from a thousand miles away, but after giving some thought, Bottoms snapped a picture and took to the web.
"And I asked some friends on facebook and twitter and instagram to do the same to show their support for Ryan Smith and it just took off from there," says Bottoms.
On Twitter, the hashtag #rallyforryan was created to keep people informed.
Pictures poured in from all 50 states to #rallyingforryan according to Bottoms. Smith's first grade class even joined the web of support. "They want to know each day how he's doing," says Dana Jones, 1st Grade Teacher. "They're very caring and want to do things for him."
Smith's teacher says his classmates eagerly ask for updates. The outpouring jumped from the web, to the streets of Dumas. The support appeared on hight-tech Bank signs and farm land carved "Ryan".
"I want to say a big thank you to the whole state, and community of Dumas, rallying around the whole family, we appreciate it very much and it means more than you'll ever know," says Daniel Smith.
Ryan's father said his son's condition is improving. Tuesday, Ryan walked around a little bit and also ate food on his own. The family now just waits for the little guy to speak, but say he is responding to questions through nodding yes or no.
According to the family a catscan showed very little bleeding on the brain and doctors hope the child can make a full recovery. Ryan's father says he could be transferred to Arkansas Children's Hospital as soon as the proper paper work goes through.