ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — An Arvada father and accomplished musician was just minutes from death when he was critically injured in a fight between motorcycle gangs last year.
Now, he is fighting to get his life back on track.
“You can overcome anything. I literally was 5 minutes away from death. I tell people a lot: I am living proof you can overcome anything,” Ryan McPherson said.
Learning to live again
McPherson suffered a traumatic brain injury and a compound fracture in his leg when someone hit him over the head and ran him over with a motorcycle.
“What was told to me was, I was taking cover between two vans. And I saw someone hurt screaming for help who had been shot, and I ran out across the street to this person I don’t know to help them,” McPherson said.
He doesn’t remember anything about the incident on July 11, 2020, just outside Jake’s Roadhouse Bar, where one person was killed and three others were injured. Witnesses told police McPherson rushed into help one of the shooting victims.
“The nerve damage to my foot — I have no control. couldn’t wiggle my toes or anything. But it is getting better. Let me put it this way: I had to learn how to play the guitar again, sing again, I had to wear a diaper. Pretty embarrassing,” McPherson said.
“This is all because you were trying to save somebody’s life you didn’t even know. I don’t regret it, but I’ve always been told I have a superhero complex. I just like to help people. I always have. I don’t regret it,” he said.
Facing eviction amid recovery
Unable to work, and not yet able to collect disability benefits, McPherson said he is about to get evicted from his home.
“I fell behind on rent. I am paid through September, but after that, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.
His friends set up a GoFundMe account to help him pay his bills. Ultimately, he would like to start performing again as a musician. He plans to record a new album early next year.
He dreams of one day performing at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
“I want to record new music. I’ve wanted it since I was three years old. I wanted to be John Lennon so bad. That’s my dream. Shoot for the stars, end on the Kelly Clarkson show,” McPherson said.
‘Be good to each other’
He admits he is not the most patient person, but the Arvada detectives working the case made a promise to him early on to do everything they can to find his attacker or attackers.
“Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for remaining committed to this case. They’ve been so kind and generous with their time. My son was so close to losing his father. He asks me often, ‘Did they get them? Did they get them?’ I don’t know. I honestly don’t know if I will tell him when they do. I will tell him justice has been served,” McPherson said.
McPherson said he does not hate the person who did this to him.
“Me being angry and vengeful and bitter is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill somebody else. I’m not going to do that. The best revenge is living well,” McPherson said.
He had a message to the community: “Be good to each other. Learn a lesson from this and take just a second and think about being so angry and bitter to go and do such a thing like that. Don’t. It’s just not worth it,” McPherson said.
“Be good to each other. Just walk away,”