I write about Ryan Diviney every once in awhile, but I really need your help this time. For those of you who haven’t followed the story, Ryan Diviney was a college student from my hometown. He attended WVU where he was just a regular college student.
In November 2009 he was beaten in a parking lot of a convenience store by some people visiting friends at his campus. They argued with him over the world series and then they beat him. His head hit the concrete beneath him and one of his attackers decided that wasn’t enough and proceeded to punt his head like it was a football. Since November 2009 he has nearly lost his life on multiple occasions and now he is a prisoner in his own body in a comatose state.
His friends and community (both college and hometown) have rallied around him holding multiple fundraisers to help with expenses, but nobody has rallied around him like his family has. His father quit his job to take care of him 24/7 - this not only includes bathing - his father works to exercise him and keep him in the best shape possible. The love he has for his son is inspiring. When asked why he does it, he simply states that he does it because he wants Ryan to be in the best physical shape possible so that if he does wake up one day, he won’t have as many hurdles to clear. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
This story does not end here. The attackers have taken no responsibility for what has happened. One of them is currently in jail and continues to be up for parole. Because of community support, his parole was declined this past year. On top of that, not a single penny of restitution has been paid to the family. When the main attacker “apologized” in court he said something along the lines of “sorry YOU feel this way” not “sorry for my actions!” The family of the attackers have not personally reached out - they actually have verbally attacked the Diviney family outside of courthouse appearances. It got so bad that every time the Divineys show up in court to fight for their son they need police escorts. The main attacker’s family has also tried to shut down the website where Ryan’s father talks about everything. It is disgusting because they have already silenced Ryan and now they are trying to silence all of his supporters as well.
Here is where you come in. Ryan’s father Ken is trying to start a petition directed to the WV Parole board to deny the attacker any and all attempts at future parole. His goal is 10,000 signatures by July 2013. I ask you all to read more about Ryan and his story and join me in signing this petition.
This means a lot to me because they have taken so much from Ryan’s family. They did not succeed in killing Ryan, but Ryan is essentially gone. He can’t speak or eat. His life was taken away from him and he is a prisoner in his body. They changed the lives of his family, his community, and his friends. Nobody knows IF he will ever wake up and the fact that the attackers REFUSE to be accountable is disturbing. I don’t want people who are capable of doing something like this to have the chance to do this to someone else.
If you would like to learn more, here are some links I feel would be helpful:
Ryan’s Rally Website
Pictures of Ryan Before/After
This is disgusting. Please sign the petition.