Thursday, July 18, 2013

please help ryan...

We met Ryan and his family back at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, a few months after our accident. Ben's room was a few doors down from Ryan's. We were not able to get to know Ryan and his family that much because we would soon be leaving. All I knew is that Ryan was injured with a severe TBI and it was bad.

Along the way I came to know Ryan's story a little but more. A small snippet from the Washington Post...
"As the argument became more heated and the two groups passed each other, Ryan turned back and approached the other group to say something, only to step back after someone shoved him. Someone punched McLhinney, knocking him unconscious. Someone hit Ryan's other friend.
After Ryan backed away, Jonathon May, a WVU student, sneaked up and punched him in the face. Ryan never struck anyone. After Ryan fell, Austin Vantrease, 19, kicked him in the head with a motion that a witness compared to "punting" a football, the detective said. May was later convicted of misdemeanor battery and sentenced to a year in prison; Vantrease was charged with malicious assault, a felony. Everyone ran, according to court testimony. Ryan lay on the ground, bleeding from his left ear and suffering seizures. When Ryan's parents reached the hospital a few hours later, the doctor told them their son's jaw was broken and his skull was fractured in two places. He was bleeding from his brain.
The Divineys faced a choice: Doctors could leave their son as he was, and he would most likely die, or they could remove part of his skull, which would let his brain swell. Either way, Ryan might not live more than a day or two. Ken and Sue told the doctor to remove the skull plate and summoned a priest to administer last rites."
So for the past few years Ryan's parents have been super diligent in caring for him. They amaze me with their commitment to their son and how they fight for him every single day! His recovery has been quite different then Ben's and that breaks my heart. I hate that we are in the same situation with knowing them in the TBI world but glad that we can help each other out!!
Here is where I would ask you to help. One of Ryan's brutal attackers is up for parole soon and has not even served close to what he should and doesn't have a remorseful bone in his body! According to his family the attacker Vantrease was in the wrong place at the wrong time...yet he chose his wrongful actions! I will not go into detail on how Ryan's family has had to fight this and put up with people who beat their son and won't do anything about it! We need your help in signing a petition to stop this parole!
Please go to:
to sign the petition for Ryan and his family!
You can also visit and follow Ryan's journey at
Thank you in advance for doing this! It would mean a lot to Ryan and his family and to Ben and I!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

summer beginnings...

wanted to get a quick update on here before we left to go have some fun on the boat! ben requested that he not watch today but go tubing so a tubing he will go! he went a few times last year so it will be interesting to see how he does this year again...of course it is never fast enough for him but i choose to be the responsible one, with a lil fun mixed in!
we of course have been busy! since my last update my lil brother got married, we celebrated birthdays, made a trip to California, celebrated the fourth, been working on the house and getting ready to move! of course in there has been ben's therapy up to four times a week and having fun in this amazing weather that we have been having! who says it rains in wa all the time...not me!
so a few pics of ben in therapy...
the end of june we were able to go to cali for another adaptive camp for ben. it was a much smaller scale then what we have attended before and we loved that. we were originally going to go to one in san fran earlier in june but we found out that it was a more competitive scale then we went to another one instead!
first night we got there we got settled in our room. later that evening we went bowling and had some pizza. just happened to be on the news that night too...well in the background! it was a lot of fun.
thursday ben started out with some fly fishing. there was a team of fly fish instructors that helped the injured warriors in some fly fishing. one would think it was easy but there is some talent there. ben started to get the hang of it too. myself, i say i still prefer the bobber! we had some lunch and then hit the water! my lil brother and ben got in a paddle boat and took off while i jumped on a paddle board! both of us have done these things before but they are super fun! ben also thought that it would be a great idea to slide down a massive blow up slide! it was huge and something that he had to climb up to the top of. i wish i had my camera but i was still on the paddle board! it is on video somewhere through! with the help of a few guys just guiding him ben climbed up the side of the slide, sat at the top and slid down the other side! it was great! after that he just floated in the water since it had hit over 100 degrees that day!
later this evening we went to a rivercats baseball game! they had all of the injured soldiers come out on the field before the game to be honored for their service. it again was great to see and my heart welled up with so much pride for ben!
friday was a super fun yet long day! we got in the shuttle and headed to the river to go white water rafting! something ben had been looking forward to! i again wish i had my camera but because we were on the water i didn't want to risk it! someone has some photos but we have not received them yet! we ended up being on the river for over four hours in 105 degree heat! thankfully there were times we could jump out and cool off! ben had a blast. he of course wished there were more strong rapids (i did too) but when it comes to guys who have lost limbs, had strokes, ptsd, and so on it was i think the perfect amount!
saturday was archery in the morning and some sled hockey in the afternoon. because it was to be over 105 and the hottest day that we were there they gave us the option to go or just stay at the hotel and chill/cool off until the afternoon. ben opted to rest and i think that was a wise choice for him. sleeping in and starbucks it was for us that morning! that afternoon we took of for a park to have lunch and then the skate rink for sled hockey. ben had done this back when we went to colorado and got the hang of it and loved it. we were able to spend a few hours on the ice and it was super fun!
to end all of the activities of the week we got to dress up a bit for a special dinner that honored the injured soldiers and also to raise money for the organization who put it on for us! it was super fun to be there with my man!
oh and before the adaptive camp we were able to stop by the palo alto va in cali. this is where ben spent about 7 months while in rehab. we had a meeting with some of the staff there but a fun part about this stop was being able to see a lot of bens old therapists and nurses! one of his main nurses was actually retiring 2 days later and it was perfect timing to see her! she said seeing ben made her retirement and now she felt like she could seeing that he was doing so much better!
another great thing we did was meet with the couple who had provided ben with his bike! we had never met this couple and it is an amazing story how it all came about but we were thrilled to be able to meet with them over coffee for a few hours! such a fun, loving couple!
the day we drove back from cali our friends from cali were up for a short visit. we actually launched the boat that night knowing that we were going to be going out the next day! we had an amazing time with them and i always hate when we have to say good bye! first boat outing of the year and many more to come...
fourth of july fun! so relaxing and that's just what we needed...
another day on the boat...and one sneaky hand...
house update! we will finally be moving in the new house in two weeks! it has been a long but good process and it is finally happening! we are super excited! i am tired of running and paying for two households! :) this week trim work gets painted, deck gets put in, and all the lil finishing touches! more sneak peeks of the house.
 {kitchen going in}
 {guest bath floor before grout}
 {floors are in}
{doors are hung but now down to be painted}
this is how we end most days...thankfully no one is here to get a pic of me...
and this just gives me strength. so true. so real.