Staff Writer

GORHAM – Ryan Farr turns 10 years old today. He was born at 9:50 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, just nine minutes before the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed after a hijacked United Airlines Flight flew into the building.

Jane Farr delivered Ryan via cesarean section at Mercy Hospital in Portland.

“We actually picked that date three months earlier for a planned C-section,” Jane said. “It’s kind of almost a little eerie.”

Jane and her husband, Ronnie Farr, arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m., well before the day’s tragedies began to unfold. They remained unaware of what was happening in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania until after their son was born.

“I’m glad they didn’t share it with us right then,” the Gorham mom said, when recalling her time in the delivery room.

Still, she knew something was going on because of the looks the nurses were giving each other. Ronnie Farr found out about the attacks soon after the delivery, but Jane remained groggy from the anesthesia and didn’t learn what was happening until later in the day.

She does remember that “they did a very quick lockdown of Mercy.” This action prevented family and friends from visiting the Farrs after the birth and lent an unusual quietness to the hospital.

“There’s a little fear,” Jane said of her emotions that day. “But in the meantime you’re trying to be happy about the baby.

“It was a weird day to bring a child into the world,” she added.

In addition to the unsettling juxtaposition of national tragedy with personal joy, the day also ushered in a time of struggle for Ryan and his family.

As the months went by, the Farrs discovered that Ryan was not developing the way he should. Their doctors eventually realized Ryan had suffered a stroke in utero.

Jane said the doctors discovered the stroke happened “right around the time we picked 9/11” as the day for the C-section.

By then Ryan was partially paralyzed and doctors said he would never be able to write or play sports.

However, Ryan’s determination, coupled with intensive physical therapy, have allowed him to overcome these challenges.

“He is the star athlete on every team he’s on,” Jane said. “He’s defied and gone against the odds of everything in the world.”

Today he is a talkative and active boy, who can write, runs around with brothers Aaron, 11, and Andrew, 7, and plays soccer, basketball and baseball.

“He’s such a perfect example of going on when times are tough,” Jane said. “He’s the definition of determination and hope.”

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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Twitter: AveryYaleKamila THE BIRTHDAY BOY