Family and friends remember Comox Valley 16-year-old fondly
In a standing-room only gym, family and friends of Ciaran Martin shared stories, songs and images Saturday of the teen they described as "loving, unique, and wise beyond his years."
Martin, 16, succumbed to his injuries Jan. 5 after he was struck by a vehicle Jan. 2 when he was travelling northbound on a longboard on Macaulay Road in Black Creek.
The Grade 11 student at G.P. Vanier Secondary School was taken to St. Joseph's General Hospital, then was airlifted to Victoria.
His family donated his organs, which has given six other people the gift of life, explained Martin's mother Jacquie during the celebration of life service Saturday afternoon at the Comox Community Centre.
"He has helped an eye recipient regain their sight … one person with heart failure .. one person with lung failure and a double lung transplant, one liver transplant … and one kidney transplant," she explained as she read a letter from the BC Transplant Society.
"It's not me, not his dad, not his family, it's Ciaran — he had the courage. We wouldn't have been able to do it ourselves."
G.P. Vanier music teacher Lindsay Duncan provided opening remarks and recalled Martin as a "remarkable young man, with so many people touched by his very gentle soul. He touched so many people … he was our Dante."
Duncan explained how she remembered Martin, a drummer with a strong passion for music, playing in a jazz band.
"In Grade 10 I remember him running to get the cowbell that he named Bessie," she noted with a laugh. "He was always swaying to the music. He would have loved to be part of the choir, but he just couldn't figure out what days were Tuesday and Thursday."
Close friend Wesley Yates remembered Martin's love and respect for everyone.
"He always had time for everyone else," he said, and added a Cruise for Ciaran is scheduled for Feb. 23 at G.P. Vanier, and encouraged anyone to join with "anything with wheels."
"Longboarding was something Ciaran loved to do. Ciaran will be there riding right besides us. And yes — everyone will be wearing a helmet."
Family members recalled Martin's love for the outdoors, and his mature view of the world.
"He was a musician, an artist, a longboarder. You were wise beyond your years, and always seemed to care for others," noted his grandfather Bill Martin. "He was a unique, caring man … and I am especially proud of his decision to become an organ donor."
His older brother recalled memories of Martin "from an insect-loving child to a young hippie whose love for insects expanded to every living thing. The way I see it, he was older than all of us. He was pure, honest, sincere and caring at the age of 16."
For more details on the Cruise for Ciaran, visit www.facebook.com/cruseforciaran.