A 16-year-old teenager tragically died in Liverpool, England, after suffering brain damage from drowning off of Tywyn beach in Gwynedd, Wales. His girlfriend shared a heartbreaking Facebook post featuring a picture taken just before he was taken off of life support and promised to “make him proud.”
Blake Ward was one of three teenagers swept away by a riptide on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2018. Rescuers from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution rushed out to save the three teens and were able to successfully retrieve them from the water; all three teens were airlifted to hospitals for further treatment.
While undergoing treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, the doctors determined that Ward had suffered too much brain damage and would never recover, the U.K. Daily Star reported.
On Aug. 4, Ward’s parents made the gut-wrenching decision to take him off of life support, but before they did Ward’s girlfriend, Stephanie Ray, was given the opportunity to say goodbye.
The moment was captured in a photo that she later shared on her Facebook page.
The devastated 15-year-old girl wrote, “Today has been the hardest day for me and it will be a day I will never be able to forget ??❤️”
She shared that she had been at the hospital as soon as he was rushed there in hopes that he would wake up and recover. She called Ward “a loving a caring person” and expressed that he “would do anything for anyone.”
“Just know Blake wasn’t in any pain and he passed away with his family around him and he will forever be missed and he will always have a special place in my heart,” her post continued.
Even though the couple had their “ups and downs,” Ray promised that she will always love him and that she would make him proud.
“I will never forget you Blake fly high my baby boy.”
The heartbreaking photo shows her lying next to Ward in the hospital room.
Others in the community have also expressed their grief over the teen’s tragic passing.
Ray’s mother, Becky, expressed how much Ward would be missed. She described him as a “beautiful, brave, kind-hearted and clever boy.”
She also said, “Even though he hadn’t been part of our family for long his loss has left us beyond devastated and heartbroken. Sleep tight sweet angel you truly were too good for this world. We will never forget you.”
April Garratt, the head teacher of Hillcrest School and Community College, the school that Ward attended, said, “Blake was a wonderful young man, his teachers would say of him that he was bright, funny and kind hearted. It is such a tragedy when a young life is taken especially in these circumstances. Our thoughts and prayers are with Blake’s family and the school will do all it can to support them and our students.”
The Holyhead Coastguard helicopter also flew over Tywyn in memory of Ward while mourners took a moment of silence below on land.
It’s hard to understand the amount of grief that results from such a sudden death, but our prayers go out for Ward’s family, his girlfriend, and anyone else who knew him. Rest in peace, Blake.
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