By Ava-joye Burnett

GLEN ARM, Md. (WJZ)– A teenager who was seriously injured after an icy limb fell on his head is slowly improving, but a family friend says he still has a long way to go.

A family friend told WJZ doctors started taking Ryan Mearig out of a medically induced coma Tuesday and he is showing signs that he recognizes people around him. But despite that positive update, Ryan still has a long road to recovery.

A limb from a tree weighed down by the ice snapped and fell right on top of the head of 16 year old. A family friend said Ryan actually stopped breathing, but his mother brought him back to life.

“He ended up with a severe head trauma as well as a broken neck. He broke three vertebrae in his neck,” said family friend Robin McGregor.

A week and a half later there is a glimmer of hope. Ryan is improving and he’s out of a coma.

“The first few days was really just waiting to see quite honestly if he would make it and then what the prognosis would be and since then, he’s made tremendous strides,” said McGregor.

The community has also rallied around Ryan’s family. More than $22,000 have been raised on a Go Fund Me page for for his medical bills.

At the farm, a company chopped down the tree for a fraction of the cost, but the family is bracing for a financial burden, because so much of Ryan’s future is still unclear.

The extent of Ryan’s brain damage is still not fully known and his mother will have to stop working as he undergoes months of rehab.

“The questions has been would he sruvive, would he come out of the coma, would he be paralyzed, and all of those questions have been answered but now the question is, what will that look like for him, what will that long term recovery look like?” she said.

Ryan hasn’t spoke yet because he’s still incubated.

If you would like to help with Ryan’s medical bills, click HERE.

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