In less than a week Ryan will have surgery to remove the titanium mesh plate that covers roughly one-third of his skull.
This mesh was originally put in place back in the summer of 2010, roughly eight months after this part of his skull was removed to allow the brain to swell from its horrific injury. About a year ago I noticed a dimple forming (i.e., called a “defect”) by his left temple. It has slowly expanded and deepened, exposing the titanium to roughly the size of a quarter.
Following the surgery next week, Ryan will be admitted directly into the ICU for (at least) twenty-four hours for monitoring as a drain is placed to siphon blood away from the brain and scalp.
Ryan will spend the next 3 or 4 weeks absent any structural protection for his brain; where the mesh once existed. If an infection develops — which is a real possibility — this time without protection is now measured in months. Anywhere between three to six! It’s just downright scary that the only things between his brain and the world is a piece of skin and the membrane that surrounds his brain. He will wear a helmet (made of stiff foam) to give him some protection.
The last step (hopefully in a few weeks, and not months) will be another surgery. Again, a large incision will be made around the implant area and a polymer-type skull plate will be screwed in place. The skin flap from the incision will be brought back in place and stapled closed.
It just makes me sick that Ryan has to go through this. It scares me that he will be so vulnerable. It saddens me to think how he will appear. It angers me that he must.
Those heartless bastards that brought this agony upon him really should be forced to see it. Which brings me to my next request. If you haven’t already done it over the past years, please take a minute to sign the online Austin Vantrease Anti-Parole Petition. Already signed it? Well, how about asking another to do it? Ask as many as you can! Ask them to join the other 157,000 people who oppose his early release.
Austin Vantrease, criminally convicted of felonious Malicious Assault, is currently imprisoned at the St. Mary’s Correctional Center for the incarceration of “felons who have been convicted of severe crimes against man…”
The Parole Hearing for this year is now set for Wednesday, July 9th at the St. Mary’s Correctional Center. It seems unreal and incredibly unfair that in just weeks Austin Vantrease — the violent felon who kicked my unconscious son in the head like “he was punting a football” and was so violent it is described as the sound of an egg splattering on concrete — might be released into society.
It still appalls me that he is even asking for early release. Eh, just another sign of his character.
The upcoming summer is certainly not going to be an easy one on Ryan and my family. What will we do about it? You guessed it… lower our shoulders and plow through it. That’s not to say that it’s going to be easy.
It’ll hurt… bad.
Anna McCormick says
Signed and shared! Your family is always in my and my families prayers. Our hearts go out to you. I hope the bastards rot!
Dear Divineys. Far away but always holding you all close in my heart…..
Hannah Davenport via Facebook says
What many people in the general public don’t think about is that anyone can end up in a condition like Ryan’s at any time. It can be the result of a devastating birth defect, aneurysm, auto accident, or vicious beating like Ryan endured. Anyone’s life can change in a moment, no one is immune. I like the idea that those who seem to be staring are actually being awakened to the idea that this could be their loved one and it could be them, shepherding their family member through the health care system. Hopefully this will awaken their empathy. Ken, I hope you have support during these appointments and friends to help. Just having a friendly face close at hand can help.
Barbara Fries via Facebook says
I don,t know what is going on?? I just spoke to him.Love you all. Mom
Will sign and share. It is just heartbreaking to read what Ryan has to undergo and what you and Sue have to experience as parents because of a vicious thug.
PK Miller says
I just signed the petition. Sorry I didn’t get to it last night. I was falling asleep at my computer! It’s why I’d left a drag show celebrating a friend’s Big 6-0. My sister laughs when I tell her I’m turning into dad. Seriously, Ken, I hope & pray this makes a difference. Like I said, if these men had committed a sex crime or dealt drugs they would’ve been hanged by their gonads. But they just critically injured a young man in his prime, leaving him permanently disabled and putting a terrible burden on all of you. Crazy world we live in….
Tina Whitt Graham via Facebook says
Prayers said for Ryan and your family, and just signed the petition.
Rita Wall Mosley via Facebook says
Signed the petition and i will be praying for Ryan and the family for i know it will be scary and hard to have to go through. Love u Ryan u got this.
PK Miller says
So sorry you all have to go through this. It’s so unfair. I pray everything works out in the end. It sounds very involved and scary. I will sign your petition. Our Prayer Table is on hiatus for a few weeks. They got rained out last week! Deacon Sue & Beth, our Dean’s wife just put the sign out and sat down and BOOM!!! Sue & her husband are taking some long deserved R&R. We’re down to 2 Deacons w/Deacon Christine’s passing & Deacon Rick accepting a position at an Episcopal Church near where he grew up, one his mom attends. The Prayer Table will return after 4th of July & I will, of course, add Ryan to it each week. I don’t know if Canon Hunter is going to have a Prayer Table at the Soup Kitchen we coordinate at another church the last Saturday. Tim & I will be in NY for 4 days for Pride March, etc,. If Canon Hunter is there Sunday, I will mention Ryan to him. (Sunday is our annual Golf Tournament to honor our retired, much beloved Bishop Ball. We’ll have a “quickie Mass” and some people are leaving early to set up.
We will sign the petition. It’s also so unfair. But of coruse, all they did was assault your son, leave him severely brain injured. If they had committed a sex crime or dealt drugs, the DA would’ve hanged them by their gonads. Just went through that locally w/a cop who threatened a man & his grandson. He got slapped on the wrist & told he was a naughty boy. He has to resign from the force but gets full pension, after a year, can even be a cop again. Again, Ken, my brother, we will have to wait till the next world for justice. Ryan will be made whole and those thugs will face the Ultimate Judge from who there are no appeals. God bless.
My heart aches for your son and for your family. We are the family of a victim of a violent crime of which my family member did not survive. I am very happy to sign the parole board petition to deny parole. Prayers for all of you from Spring Hill Fl.
Linda Foley Renzulli via Facebook says
Signed with prayers for this precious boy.
Jacqueline Laurel LaBerge says
Many prayers for you Ryan
Lisa Lassandro Walsh via Facebook says
Petition signed ,Justice for Ryan !!
Dina Ayala via Facebook says
My prayers are with you and your family
Tom McClelland via Facebook says
Signed and with my best hopes for all the positive outcomes you need this summer.
Carmela O'Connor via Facebook says
<3 Praying for Ryan.
Jean Dolan via Facebook says
Prayers for your families continuing strength and Ryan’s recovery.
Jennifer Fowler says
SIGNED W/NO HESITATION.
Jamie Weese Bennett via Facebook says
Praying hard for Ryan and all of you! My heart just breaks when I think about all that Ryan, and you guys, have gone through! I hope the worthless !&@!/!@& that did this rots in h—!!!!!!!!!!
Marge Wertz says
I have signed the petition. I will share on my FB page and asked all my FB friends to sign and share. I don’t live in WV but my daughter does and has shared this petiton as well as the background to this on her FB page so I am well aware of what happened. I will keep Ryan and all of you in my prayers. I will also pray for justice in his case as well. No early release!
Patti Shelton McComb via Facebook says
Ken, I tried signing petition but not appear to be taking my signature?
Patti Shelton McComb via Facebook says
Are you allowed to speak on his behalf???
Ryan's Rally LLC says
Jennifer Grieb via Facebook says
I signed the petition!
David Chagnon says
Praying for no complications in surgery!
Paula Dundas Hamrick via Facebook says
Signed and posted to my fb page for more signatures
Joanna Drechsler via Facebook says
Signed and hope he has an uneventful surgery
Mary Drusko via Facebook says
I do not know you or your family personally but reading Ryan’s story breaks my heart. I will pray for comfort and strength for your family and most importantly Ryan.
Denise Minks via Facebook says
Signed and shared! Stay strong.
Jennifer Moore Lovelace via Facebook says
I am praying that Ryan come through this surgery smoothly. I signed and shared the petition. Love you all very much!
Laura Jones via Facebook says
Stay strong!! Peace, love & prayers to you all <3
Marsha Cook via Facebook says
I pray for your family and those guys never need to get out of prison!!!!
Ryan Andrew Martin says
I hope they keep him locked up as long as possible.
Praying as always for healing and justice. Stay strong, Divineys!
Sharon Oulundsen Bonanno via Facebook says
Signed & Shared
We are remaining vigilant in prayer for Ryan, you, Sue and Kari as we continue to read share your posts. We are always hoping for good news, but share the news–good or not so good. You know we are always here for you! Trusting God to bring Ryan through this extremely dangerous surgery, long period of recovery, and what is to follow with the next surgical procedure.
Thinking of you.
Missy Withem Ryder via Facebook says
Strength, Prayers & Love♥I signed the petition & also SHARED!!! I hope you get a million signatures cause Ryan & your family DESERVE it♥♥♥
Gail Doyle says
Praying for all to go smoothly and know Ryan is so strong ,he will be fine
What you all have to go through (unimaginable)…will be saying many prayers
for you Ken, Sue and Kari and all Ryan’s family
Sending you a personal email
Karyn&Mike Curran says
We pray for ryan and your family everyday. We have signed the petition. I hope and pray that the bastard has to live his life in prison!!! We will continue to pray for ryan and your family everyday especially that ryan gets thru this surgery okay.
Diana Sowell via Facebook says
Ryan’s story is heartbreaking. Your family is in my thoughts♡
Sendy Ward King via Facebook says
I signed and will share for you Ryan you deserve so much more but this is the least I can do for you and your family
Kimberly Bearden via Facebook says
Praying for all of you. Signed and shared!
Ken, should we be writing letters to the parole board again this year?
Not sure why the surgical decision turnaround, but glad of it.
Kim Miller-Connelly via Facebook says
I signed & shared the petition. That POS deserves life in jail!
Grace Odom via Facebook says
Always praying for you guys!
Laura Lee via Facebook says
<3 Prayers <3 to you ALL !!