Ryan Buchanan's Long Road Ahead

His family is praying for a miracle after Santa Cruz sand tunnel collapse.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ryan Buchanan needs round the clock care after being deprived of air for 15 minutes. (Published Monday, Jan 16, 2012)

    The Orinda teenager who was buried when a sand tunnel collapsed on top of him during a visit to the beach in Santa Cruz is still fighting for his life.

    Ryan Buchanan, 17, has been in a near vegetative state since last June.

    His father allowed our NBC Bay Area cameras into the rehab center where he has been living for the past months. He will soon be allowed to go home, but the house needs a lot of renovation first to accommodate for Ryan's medical care.

    He is breathing on his own and requires little medication, but it is a good when he opens his eyes or smiles, according to his family.

    Ryan was a church retreat when he and a friend dug a sand tunnel. It collapsed on top of him trapping him for 15 minutes depriving him of oxygen.

    His father Bret Buchanan said his faith in God is getting him through.

    "Tell people you love them any chance you get. You never know if it’s the last time you’re able to say that to them," Bret Buchanan said.

    Ryan's family said they have faith that he can get better and are praying for a miracle.

    Ryan's friends and his church family are planning a fundraiser to help raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars that will be needed to pay for the house renovation.

    They are holding a concert at Creekside Community Church in Alamo on Feb. 4.

    If you would like for information visit the RyanBuchanan.org website at this link.