Trista Sutter Celebrates Husband Ryan's Fire Academy Graduation After Lyme Disease Diagnosis
Ryan's return to his firefighting career comes after a months-long quest to find the origin of a mystery illness he was battling, which turned out to be Lyme disease worsened by high levels of mold in his body and other "co-infections," he revealed in May.
On Saturday, Trista, 48, shared a series of photos on Instagram, including a selfie of her with Ryan, 46, in his firefighting uniform alongside the pair's two children: daughter Blakesley Grace, 12, and son Maxwell Alston, 13.
"Dedicated, driven, humble, brave, courageous...all words used to describe the 20-01 class of the Denver Fire Department yesterday and all words that I have used to describe the firefighter I fell in love with almost 20 years ago," her caption began.
She continued, "He started his career in our small mountain town and worked hard to protect our community, but was always searching for more challenges and greater personal growth. After trying his hand at building for a year with the incredible crew at @vailcustom, the purpose and joy he found as a firefighter was too strong to silence so when the opportunity to start over in the Denver Fire Academy presented itself, he followed that call and made us all proud once again."
"But not just because he was going back to one of the most honorable careers in our world or one of the most intense and physically demanding fire academies in the country," Trista wrote. "Because he would knowingly be fighting to prove his worth among an academy class where many were twice as young; because he would be living and commuting 2 hours away from us and his home; and because he was willing to take a chance on re-discovering his true purpose."
She then referenced his health struggles, adding, "On top of that, he finished 2nd in his class during a pandemic and while struggling with a disease and viruses that we now know were attacking him from the inside out."
"I love you for so many reasons, @ryansutter, and will continue to be in awe of the inspiring person you constantly prove yourself to be. Thank you for showing our kids the picture of resilience, perseverance and strength and congratulations on an incredible achievement! We love you and are honored to be a part of the Denver Fire family!" Trista concluded.
Below his wife's post, Ryan added a sweet comment. "I might just be the luckiest man in the world to have you in my life!" he wrote.
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Ryan, who rose to fame when Trista selected him on the first season of The Bachelorette in 2003, posted the same selfie on his own Instagram page on Saturday, writing, "It may not have gone as I'd thought, as I'd hoped or as I'd expected. It was not an easy year or perfect process. It was hard - intentionally so. But it's in the books now and, with the undying support of my family, I made it - we made it!"
"There is a price that must be paid for almost everything great in life," he continued. "But when the reward is a purposeful existence doing what you love with people you admire and respect, it's worth it every time. Honored to be a member of The Denver Fire Department. Now the real work begins... Best job I've ever had!"
"Thank you @tristasutter Max and Blakesley," Ryan wrote. "I truly could not have done this without you. ❤️"