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Pit Crew

209 Posts
joined 25 Feb 12


Posted - 08 Apr 2013 :  22:24:41  Show Profile Send DC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sad news - my condolences go out to family and friends, I have 3 teenagers in rugby league and I can't imagine what you have gone through, would of been a hard decision to turn off your own sons life support....

Tommy Raudonikis' grandson and football player Jake Kedzlie, 15, dies after life support is turned off

Initial reports suggested Sawtell Junior Rugby League Football Club player Jake Kedzlie, 15, was hurt after clashing heads with his opponent at Toormina, near Sawtell, on Saturday.

But his coach Alec Cullen said Jake was trying to make a tackle when he copped a knee to the side of his head.

"He went in for a normal tackle like he did any other,'' he said.

"He probably made about 40-odd tackles that game already. It's a freak accident, there's no other way to describe it.''

Jake, a five-eighth was the side's captain and was crowned Player of the Year in 2012.

Mr Cullen described him as a "brilliant footballer''.

"He was going to go places, this kid,'' he said.

"He was the star player of this team, the most popular player, captain and he was a brilliant footballer. He could chip and chase, run down someone, and score a try from one side of the field to the other.

"He was so well-liked it was unbelievable. Perhaps his biggest fault was that he always had too many girls come to training to watch him and all the boys would get distracted.''

Mr Cullen denied rumours the competition game against the Kempsey Dragons was a heated exchange.

"There was nothing in it at all,'' he said.

"It wasn't a dirty match. It was a well-fought game.

"I can't praise the other team enough for all their help when Jake went down. They acted like true champions.''

Mr Raudonikis and his family are 'absolutely shattered' at the death, but he says they do not blame "the great game."

Jake Kedzlie, the son of Raudonikis's daughter Corryn, died in hospital after being struck in the head during an Under 16s match at Sawtell near Coffs Harbour on Saturday.

One of league's most famed hard men, Raudonikis said he was 'doing it tough' after driving from his Gold Coast home to farewell his 'wonderful, beautiful' grandson, whose life support was switched off at Coffs Harbour Hospital on Monday.

"Jake was a wonderful, beautiful boy,'' he said.

"He was just a typical 15-year-old boy who loved rugby league and surfing. He was a very good footballer who was awarded a scholarship last year by the Wests Tigers.

"Everybody in Sawtell loved him. There are fences throughout the town spray-painted with 'Goodbye Jake' and 'Love you Jake'. It's very emotional.''

Jake, who played for the Sawtell Panthers, was injured when an opponent's knee struck his head in a tackle during the first Group 2 game of the season at Rex Hardaker Oval on Saturday afternoon.

He collapsed as bystanders rushed in to perform CPR, and was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Raudonikis, a former Australian Test player, said the family did not want to see rugby league blamed for Jake's death.

"We hold no grudges against the great game of rugby league and we want to emphasise that,'' he said.

"My daughter's absolutely shattered and if anyone has a reason to blame the game, it's her. But it was just a freak accident and a reminder of how fickle life can be.

"Parents out there should not be put off by this - rugby league is still a great game for the kids. If they want to wear head gear, they can but I'm not sure it would have oprevented this tragedy and I don't think it should be made compulsory.

"If anyone should have brain injuries from playing football over the years, it's me.''

A Coffs Harbour Health Campus spokeswoman says his family decided on Monday to turn off Jake's life support.

"The family have agreed to donate his organs," she said.

Jake Kedzlie's family has paid tribute to him as a gifted boy with a heart of gold.

In a statement issued by the club, Sawtell JRLFC President Karena Duggan labelled Jake a 'tremendous ambassador' who 'always had a smile on his face'.

"Jake was a good kid, who always had a smile on his face, who loved being part of a team and who loved his footy," she said.

"He will be incredibly missed."

All of us are now coming to grips with what has just been a tragic accident, it was just one of those freak things that happen in life, there is no one who could be blamed.

"There is a strong focus on safety and on playing in the right spirit and Jake was someone who was a tremendous ambassador for us," she said.

The talented sportsman from Sawtell in the state's north was rushed to Coffs Harbour Health Campus about 4.30pm on Saturday after a head clash in the last 10 minutes of an under-16s game left him with life-threatening injuries.

Paramedics were called to Rex Hardaker oval in Toormina when the Sawtell Panther player lost consciousness.

He was in an induced coma last night as his family gathered at his bedside to make the harrowing decision of whether to switch off his life support.

Uncle Harley Byrne said Jake was an active and outgoing young man with a smile for everyone.

"Jakey was a good young fella who loved his fishing, surfing and most of all football," Mr Byrne said. "It's a tragedy."

Mr Byrne confirmed that his nephew was pronounced brain-dead yesterday morning.


17515 Posts
joined 14 Nov 06


Posted - 08 Apr 2013 :  22:52:31  Show Profile Send Sonic a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
that's harsh :(... hope his family can use the time to get closer remembering how easy we can all go...

don't forget to tell someone how much you care, you might not get another chance...

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