Injured WSU basketball player Ryan Custer accepted into research study

CINCINNATI (WDTN) – The parents of injured Wright State University basketball player Ryan Custer spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday, offering a positive update on Custer’s improving condition.

“He’s able to feel his fingers to the touch and he has slight movements in his finger tips,” Custer said. “Right now, he has hardly any feeling below his legs, although he had felt us rub the top of his feet.”

An emotional Custer explained publicly for the first time the emergency surgery his son underwent.

“They fused the C-3, 4, 5, and 6 together, added some bone,” Custer said. “Then put a mesh material over it to give him protection and support.”

Custer has undergone multiple surgeries to his spine, was put on a breathing tube and has had a tracheotomy performed. As of Tuesday, he’s talking and breathing on his own for a few hours at a time.

Custer was flown to UC Medical Center after shattering part of his vertebrae when he jumped into a makeshift pool at a party near Miami University. Custer’s injuries have now qualified him for a stem-cell research study at Rush University in Chicago.

“We just found out he leaves Friday morning at 8 o’clock,” Custer said. “He’ll go up there and there’s no guarantee, but he’ll be evaluated for 5 days and hopefully he’ll pass the test they’re gonna give him and then he’ll receive an injection.”

If Custer gets the injection, he’ll be sent to an inpatient rehabilitation center where he’ll be evaluated further for the next 7 to 9 days.

A GoFundMe page has been started to help Custer with medical expenses. If you would like to donate, click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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