By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities family is humbly asking for help in hopes their paralyzed son can find more freedom.

The Palattao family says home improvements will give Ryan new confidence in his daily routine.

Things were fine for the Richfield family of five when Ryan Palattao came into the world until his mom noticed alarming changes when he was 6 months old.

“He couldn’t sit up anymore. He couldn’t hold his head up,” Angie Palattao said.

(credit: CBS)

As a physical therapist, Angie was the first to interpret an MRI showing Ryan’s inflamed spinal cord.

“She immediately looked down and said to me, ‘He’s going to be paralyzed.’ I didn’t understand what she was talking about,” Greg Palattao said.

Ryan is now 7 years old and navigating life with an unbreakable spirit and sweet personality.

“You look at him and he’s a force to be reckoned with,” Angie said.

“He doesn’t let anything stop him or get in his way,” Greg added.

But Ryan hopes he won’t have to rely on his family forever to help him get around. That’s why, for the first time, his parents are asking for help.

“One of the hardest things in the last six and a half years for both of us,” Angie said.

Beyond a backyard ramp, their home wasn’t built for accessibility. Inside, Ryan pulls himself to most places.

“At some point, he has to be able to have that freedom to move around in a normal way that is dignified,” Greg said.

A home remodel would widen the bathroom door and other spaces so Ryan can use his wheelchair and updates to the garage would mean he wouldn’t have to be carried out of the car.

“For him, it’s going to make his life so much easier,” Angie said.

Like any parent, the Palattaos want Ryan to feel confident and included – perhaps small things to ask for all he’s given them.

“He’s taught us all a lot and made us better people,” Greg said.

To help Ryan’s family make that remodel possible, visit their GoFundMe page.

Liz Collin