Jake's family overwhelmed by a flood of support
CORRYN Hawke, the mother of Jake Kedzlie, says she has been amazed at the impact the 15-year-old made on the lives of others and overwhelmed at the heartfelt support her family has received.
Ms Hawke said she wished to thank everyone who has been there for her husband Adrian and children Cooper, 5, Josh, 14, and Grace, 10.
"We would like to give a big thank you and our appreciation to all the wonderful people who have given us so much love and support through this very hard and sad time, with the loss of our son Jake," Ms Hawke said.
"There are so many people and individuals to thank, but there is not enough words to express how grateful we are."
Ms Hawke said her son died doing what he loved when he suffered a fatal injury while making a tackle during a junior rugby league game for his beloved Sawtell Panthers.
She said his great love was rugby league and as a talented footballer, Jake aspired to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, rugby league great Tommy Raudonikis.
"He lived and breathed football. He always had a football in his hand. This was just a freak accident," Ms Hawke said.
A coronial report has since found that Jake died from a haemorrhage to the base of his neck.
"His passing shows that you have got to live every day like it's your last. Life is too short and you have got to get the most out of life."
In honour of Jake Kedzlie, a new scoreboard now bears his name at Rex Hardaker Oval and a mural has been painted on the pigeon club building at the ground.
"The community spirit in Sawtell and Coffs Harbour has been overwhelming, and it's amazing to know that a community can come together for each other in a time of need," Ms Hawke said.
"Thank you for all the donations to Jake's fund and the fund- raisers; thank you for all the beautiful flowers and cards of condolences and food. Thanks to all the clubs, organisations and business (you know who you are) for your help.
"Without all the special people, family and dear friends in our lives, this difficult time would be unimaginable," she said.