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Former HHS student in coma

In March, Ryan Gelhar and Heidi Cordell were married in Cozumel, Mexico. The ocean was the backdrop. The groom was clad in khaki pants and bright blue shirt.

That scene is a far cry from what Ryan and his family are going through this week.

Ryan is in a hospital room at Regions in bad shape. Early Sunday morning he fell 14 feet onto a concrete garage floor. His brain has swollen, and a coma was induced Monday to help with the swelling. He went into surgery Tuesday where a part of his skull was removed to relieve pressure on his brain.

Ryan and Heidi both attended Hastings High School and grew up here. Ryan's father, Mark, still lives in Hastings.

"We've got a really long haul ahead of us," Mark Gelhar said.

Ryan was spending the night at a friend's house in Red Wing. His friend forgot his keys, and was getting into his house by climbing through a bonus room above the garage. Ryan apparently followed him and stepped between the rafters. He fell through the sheetrock and ended up on the floor.

Ryan will turn 24 years old Oct. 9. He and Heidi now live in Apple Valley.

A Caring Bridge Web site has been set up at

A benefit fund has also been established to aid the family with medical bills and bills at home. Ryan does not have health insurance. The fund is called the Ryan Gelhar Recovery Trust, and the account is at Wells Fargo.

Three years ago, Ryan escaped injury after a serious auto accident. He was actually airlifted to North Memorial, but walked out the next day with no apparent injuries.

Mark Gelhar is the DJ at the Historic Hastings Saturday Night Cruise-Ins. He plans to be there Saturday and hopes to hand out flyers to get some help for Ryan. He also works at Quality One Woodworking in the Hastings Business and Industrial Park.