ASHBURN, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - A Northern Virginia man had his whole life in front of him — he was a standout athlete and student with dreams of becoming a judge. All of that was taken away when Ryan Diviney was brutally attacked at his college in West Virginia nearly a decade ago.
On Tuesday night, his high school in Ashburn let his family know Ryan’s legacy will never be forgotten. The Broad Run High School baseball team retired his jersey and dedicated a plaque in his honor that was placed behind home plate.
"We’re almost a whole decade out and the community around us continues to lift us up and they’ve never left our side,” said Ryan’s father, Ken Diviney.
What happened to Ryan at a convenience store at West Virginia University started, coincidentally, as an argument over baseball. It ended with two students beating Ryan until he was unconscious. He was left with a fractured skull, broken jaw and bleeding brain.
He barely survived and never recovered. Nearly 10 years after the brutal attack, he remains in a vegetative state, requiring round-the-clock care.
On Tuesday, Ryan’s parents and sister took a rare evening away from home, returning to the field where they used to watch him play. The varsity team is now coached by Ryan’s best friend, Tommy Meier.
“You look at Broad Run baseball today, Ryan is still with us,” said Meier. “His legacy lives on.”
Meier was choked up as he spoke to the crowd and dedicated the baseball program “to continuing the spirit Ryan gave us and reminding the Diviney family that they are never alone.”
Ryan’s mother, Sue Diviney, is the vice president of finance at FOX 5. She says what her family has been through since the attack has never gotten easier.
“Every day is just very painful seeing Ryan and everything that he’s lost,” said Sue.
She says it’s days like this that make the difference.
“I don’t know how my family can make it without this,” said Sue. “This is what helps us make it every day, and knowing that we’re able to carry on for Ryan since he can’t.”
Ryan’s family says they are hopeful medical developments in the future could help him improve. They say because of physical therapy, he’s stayed physically in good shape. For more on his story, click here: https://ryansrally.org/.
A film crew is working on a documentary about his story: https://www.stormingfilm.com/.