TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan made an unannounced stop Tuesday at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple.
The visit was kept quiet, though witnesses say there was heavy security when the Republican leader showed up at around 11 a.m., touring the facility alongside Temple businessman and hospital benefactor Drayton McLane, Jr., as well as Central Texas Congressman John Carter.
Hospital officials confirmed to KWTX Ryan was in town, saying only that he was here to tour the children’s hospital, which opened in 2011.
Sources told KWTX that Ryan also met with hospital executives to talk about the need for therapy for children and health care issues.
One of the patients who met Ryan while he was in Central Texas was 9-year-old Logan Parker, the current Texas Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network, a group which includes McLane Children's Hospital and 13 other Texas hospitals.
Logan has Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease, a rare genetic condition involving a central nervous system defect of the brain that affects mobility and speech skills.
He visits the hospital weekly for therapy and also appears on many of the hospital's posters.
In June, as part of his ambassadorship, Logan and his family toured the nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C., where they stopped and took a photo in front of Ryan’s office.
This time, the family was able to meet the speaker and share Logan's story with him.
“He was very approachable and down to earth,” said Logan’s mom, Doris.
“He was very much into Logan’s story.”
“I love that Logan has no idea of who he just met," Doris said. "It could have been the janitor. That's just how Logan is."
The speaker's schedule did not include a mention of a stop in Temple.