Va. man brutally beaten 10 years ago dies from his injuries

A college student badly beaten nearly 10 years ago has died from his injuries. Now Ashburn, Virginia, native Ryan Diviney is being remembered by friends.

“The Diviney family is going through waves of unimaginable sadness, anger, and appreciation,” Ryan Diviney’s friend Katie Mesmer wrote in a Facebook post for his family after the 29-year-old’s death. “Their sadness will be coped with over time and their anger will be directed where it is appropriate.”

The West Virginia student was attacked by two men after a verbal altercation outside a Morgantown convenience store on Nov. 7, 2009. He was punched and kicked in the head. Diviney suffered injuries including a skull fracture and a broken jaw which left him paralyzed. Doctors initially gave Diviney only 48 hours to live.

The men convicted in his beating, Austin Vantrease and Jonathon May, have served their respective sentences in prison and have been released.

Meanwhile, Diviney’s family devoted themselves to his full-time care, maintained multiple fundraising pages and blogs cataloging his reality.

Upon his passing Saturday, WVU offered its condolences. It said in part: “The Diviney family has been an inspiration in its devotion to and care for Ryan since the tragedy almost 10 years ago. All Mountaineers hold Ryan and his family in our hearts during this very difficult time.”

In her Facebook post, Mesmer said: “Mostly the Diviney’s appreciate what everyone has done for Ryan over the past 10 years. Without you all, Ryan would have never received the comfort and care, nor lived as long after the attack as he did. They are sincerely grateful.”

Mesmer said “in true Ryan Diviney fashion,” he wanted to donate his organs to save others with preference given to the military and brain-injured individuals.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up