Ryan and Trista Sutter are asking for “privacy” after the couple revealed that Ryan has been dealing with an unknown illness for months.
The couple, who met on The Bachelorette, thanked their fans for their support in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.
“Ryan and I are humbled by the outpouring of support we have received,” they say. “At this time, we kindly ask for privacy as our family deals with this difficult matter. Your love and kindness means the world to us.”
Trista, 48, first shared on Nov. 30 that Ryan, 46, has been “struggling for months” with his health, and that she is having trouble feeling thankful during this holiday season.
"I know I should be thankful, but I don’t want to be fake. And, I’m struggling. This guy…my rock, my best friend, my hero, my love…is struggling. Not everyday, and not to the point that he can’t work or cook or exercise or be with family, but enough," she wrote on Instagram. "We’ve been struggling for months. Struggling to get answers."
Trista said they recently “found out that Ryan doesn’t have cancer,” which was a relief, but also added to their frustration that he still does not have a diagnosis.
On Tuesday, Ryan, a firefighter, went into detail about his health problems, which he said started as he was wrapping up an 18-week training course with the Denver Fire Department that began in February.
"Towards the end of that process I felt more and more worn out and began feeling occasional 'flu like' symptoms," he wrote on Instagram. "I was tested for COVID multiple times but never tested positive. I completed the academy and believed/hoped I would begin to recover and feel better."
Ryan said that it has been five months since he first started feeling off, “and, if anything, I feel worse.”
"Though I am functional and continue to work my regular fire schedule, I am experiencing a battery of symptoms which include: fatigue — sometimes almost paralyzing, deep body and muscle aches, fevers, night sweats, full body itching with no rash, headaches, neck and throat swelling, congestion, lightheadedness, nausea and just general all around not feeling good."
But after “several blood tests and a CT scan,” doctors have not been able to find any “conclusive” diagnosis. In the meantime, Ryan is doing what he can to feel better.
"I am not taking any medications, maintain a healthy diet and am doing my best to get rest,” he said. “Most days I feel about 70%. Somedays [sic] I feel a bit better and somedays I can barely get out of bed. I don’t believe I have anything contagious as no one else in my family has been sick nor has anyone I have worked with or associated with been sick.”
Ryan said that the “struggle to find answers in the medical world and support through the insurance industry is frustrating and lacking."
The dad to daughter Blakesley Grace, 11, and son Maxwell Alston, 13, with Trista said that he decided to share his medical struggles in case it “might be of some help to all those suffering in similar ways.” Ryan also added that he is lucky to have the support of his family.
"Please don’t worry about me. I will be fine. If you must worry, worry about each other. Support each other. Be there for each other," he added. "The outpouring of support I have received has been humbling and therapeutic. I could not be more grateful. I can not imagine the healing power that amount of love and caring would have on the world should we all choose to apply it? Maybe let’s find out…"
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