Jonathan's Journey

Campaign Created by: Joel Ryals

The funds from this campaign will be received by Joel Ryals.

Goal : USD $15,000
Raised : USD $ 13,835

In February of 2016, Jonathan had a bacterial infection that broke the blood-brain barrier resulting in a continuous seizure that lasted for 14 hours. After a week in a coma, we wondered if Jonathan would wake up.  And if he did, would he be able to walk or to talk?  What would he remember?  What would he forget? We wondered if he would remember that he was a child of the King, the Most High God.  Jonathan asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior after much wrestling at a pretty young age.  Many of us who knew him best, saw the obvious fruit of his life being laid at the feet of the Master.  What joy!!  When someone tells you, your child might not remember...that is a cause for pause.  As parents and many who knew him, we prayed for Jonathan's restoration physcially, but most of all we prayed that the Lord would not leave him.  We prayed he would wake and remember his King.  The first thing he asked for when he woke up, was to sing!  Not only did he talk, he sang Amazing Grace!!!  He remembered all the words.  We cried.  The nurses cried.  The doctors cried.  If you watch his video we made, that moment where he sings are his first words from waking in the coma. At 13 years of age, Jonathan was faced with the daunting task of learning how to do the most basic of things like how to swallow, how to eat,  to talk, how to brush his teeth, move his hands and fingers, and how to walk once again.  

While he is now home and on the road to recovery, there is still a long way to go and he is not out of the woods yet. He is working through a weaning process from some of the high amounts of seizure medication which prove challenging for his body.  

At this point Jonathan also suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which presents another myriad of challenges for him to over come.  Additionally, there are ongoing costs to make sure that Jonathan's body gets what he needs to recover.  High deductibles, medications, supplements, ongoing medical treatments to aid in brain cell growth and to rebuild his immune system from the infection, travel for treatments and training for both Jonathan and us to help him have a full recovery all begin to add up. There is also a school avaliable for parents of TBI children to help teach them how to re-train the brain in learning.  Learning is a struggle for Jonathan.

Jonathan's recovery has been nothing short of a miracle, but he has great hurtles in learning to read again, to write and in many more of his educational endeavors.  We accept that we just can't do this on our own.  The Lord has supported us through this journey, and we are so thankful for the many praying without ceasing for our family.  We made a commitment in our word to many who initial asked to send monetary assistance that when we met that time, we would humbe ourselves and make known our need.   

That time is now!  

Jonathan was adamant that he doesn't want to just ask for something without giving something in return! ;-) What a blessing to have a young man who still looks to give, even after so much is taken from him.  Jonathan, his twin, along with his older sister all came up with the idea to train a dog for a special person.  So the  wonderful idea came to light, Jonathan has always been one of my best handlers on ground, especially with the young dogs, and he would like to train up a puppy (or two) for those who help support him in his recovery. Jonathan will donate his time in training and our company, Dunetos K9, will donate the dog.  Jonathan will hand select the dog (with assistance from the winner), which we will video and share on his "Jonathan's Journey" page for all to enjoy!  

So, here is the plan:   We are aiming for two goals.  If we reach our first goal of $7500, we will run a raffle for one Dunetos Companion trained K9  that will be hand selected and trained by Jonathan (with the help of his brothers and sisters and dad, as needed). If we reach the secondary $15000 goal, we will raffle off a second dog as well. This is an opportunity to have a dog for a tiny fraction of the cost, and a way to help in Jonathan's recovery in the process.  

Even if you are not interested in being included in the drawing for the K9, every amount counts towards helping us reach our goal.  We don't get to hold the drawing unless we reach our goal amount.  When you give, you don't just help out Jonathan, you are also helping someone else to receive a faithful companion of top quality training.

If you wish to mail in your donation, we understand.  Your money will also still be counted toward the goal amount, and you will still receive the opportunity to win.  Please write "Jonathan's Journey" in the memo and submit to:
Joel Ryals
1180 Rogers Road
Crittenden, KY 41030

We want you to have a lasting connection with us and we want to bless those who bless us as we are able. So we are also offering the following: 

--For any donation amount, we will send you our Oreo, the Combat Cookie screen background. (Design by Ray Avery RatCS).

--For donations of $50 or more, we will send you one of our favorite books on dogs: "Spiritual Gifts, As Illustrated by the Canine Kingdom." We will even have Jonathan autograph it for you!!! (while supplies last!)

--And for every $50 you donate, your name will be in the "hat" for the raffling of one of our outstanding dogs, hand selected and trained by Jonathan.A very heart felt thank you goes out to everyone who has prayed for us and for all those who decide to donate to help cover Jonathan's continued care. We are blessed by each one of you.

Finally, we have also set up an email account for Jonathan's Journey.  If you wish to have additional contact infomation added to your qualifing entry for the K9, or you wish to give publically as "anonymous," yet desire and qualify for an entry, please feel free to email us at   We will be sending out all qualifying items no later than the 25th of each month for those donating the previous 30 days. Iif you don't receive your link via email or other social media means and still desire your free Oreo, the combat cookie, wallpaper, or your Canine Kingdom book in the mail, please also email us.  

To continue following Jonathan and to see what current prayer needs he has, please follow "Jonathan's Journey" on Facebook. We continue to covet your prayers, as we would not have made it this far without them.


Update #1
December 23, 2016
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Update #3 - Update Video #1

Jonathan gives his first update since launching Jonathan's Journey publicly. He talks about the hardest parts of his journey so far, how the wean off of the medications is going, his excitement about training the dog for our raffle winner, and finally, he tells us what God has taught him through this struggle so far.

Update #2
December 15, 2016
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It is so exciting that we have reached 30% of Jonathan's goal!!

​Thank you so much to everyone who has given and please continue to share this on your social media to get the word out about Jonathan. Jonathan will be doing about 2 video updates per week to keep you guys informed about how he is doing. Those videos will be posted on the Video Update page. Please check that out to get the latest straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

​I have also recieved a couple of questions about medical expenses for Jonathan. What are the monthly and ongoing medical expenses that we have? So I updated the Jonathan's Journey page that has more information. You will find my detailed breakdown of the upcoming expenses for Jonathan in 2017. Keep in mind that in 2016, we still have about $2000 dollars of hospital expenses. The expenses are in the FAQs at the bottom of the page.

​Thanks again and we greatly appreciate the gifts and shares to help Jonathan in Jonathan's Journey

Update #3
December 12, 2016
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