Featured Image Credit: Zombie Bob’s Pizza
Zombie Bob’s Pizza takes its name dead serious. Call it coincidence or an omen. As fate would have it, the local pizza truck’s owner, Ryan Dedrickson, is Charleston’s very own real-life zombie.
Back in October 2015 while prepping for an upcoming festival, Dedrickson was electrocuted in a freak accident. While connecting his truck to its power source, over 220 amps of electricity went through his body, causing his heart to stop.
After being rushed to MUSC, admitted to the ICU, and undergoing hypothermic treatment to prevent as much brain damage as possible, the initial prognosis was less than optimistic. The doctors prepared his family for the worst. To theirs, and everyone else’s surprise, Ryan survived, and is in some ways now Charleston’s own real-life “zombie”. Although more than three years have passed since the incident, it is still a large part of who he is and what he does. Dedrickson considers himself extremely fortunate to be alive.
Wonderfully stubborn, according to his family, Ryan has made a miracle comeback. Just four days after the incident, he passed all tests allowing him to breathe on his own. Over the next few days, he started waking up, whispering, got out of bed and eventually took a stroll– right on over to a regular hospital bed when he was kicked out of the ICU for simply being too healthy.
The recovery process was long and daunting, and still continues, but it would not have been possible without the people who came around to help. People like Karen Moran, a fellow food truck owner and friend, who brought him a Superman costume while he was in the hospital to represent his great spirit.
To raise money for hospital bills, his family created a GoFundMe in addition to other fundraisers throughout Charleston’s food and bev community, such as a food truck rodeo. The GoFundMe raised $9,216 from 86 people. The food and beverage community gave Zombie Ryan the drive to continue, something that is reflected in the mission of Zombie Bob’s Pizza, to keep customers happy and to give back as much as possible.
In May 2016, a little over six months post-zombification, Zombie Bob’s Pizza opened its first brick-and-mortar location inside Frothy Beard Brewing Company’s new structure. The building is also home to a digital communications firm, Push Digital, whose CEO, Wesley Donehue, invested in and created the trifecta that now resides in West Ashley on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard.
The opening of Zombie Bob’s Pizza’s first location was the ultimate rally for Dedrickson after sustaining the significant electrical shock and making a miraculous recovery. It’s not quite the walking dead in there, but he has been using Frothy Beard’s Back From The Dead Porter to infuse his pizza crust, ultimately making his affordable, jumbo slice pizzas that much more killer.
His bizarre, incredible story serves as a reminder to himself and to those around the Charleston community that when you’re truly doing something you love for people you love, you will continue to do it no matter what. It also serves as a reminder to eat some truly delicious pizza and frothy brews– it might just bring you back from the dead.