“SOMEONE has been given a heart of gold” – those are the words of devastated mum of tragic teen Keegan Crawford, who died after being knocked off his bike on Chester Road.
The 17-year-old was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) with serious head injuries, but lost his fight for life last week.
The youngster went on to save five lives after mum Laurie agreed to donate his organs, including his heart, to people awaiting life-saving transplants.
In an emotional tribute, mum-of-three Laurie, 43, said:
“Whoever received it has been given a heart of gold.”
Bike-mad Keegan was born with a painful hip condition and was due to have an operation at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
But his family spoke of how it never stopped him leading a full and active life.
Sister Kennedy, 15, spoke of her music-mad brother, who loved riding his BMX, devoted to her and younger brother Kurtez, seven, and loving uncle to Kennedy’s seven-month-old daughter Maddison.
Laurie said: “He was the kindest, most loving boy anyone could meet. Young and old, everyone had a good word for him.
“Keegan Massey Bartlett Crawford was born on March 29, 1995, at Newcastle’s RVI.
“He was tragically taken away from us on October 1, when he took his last breath at 2.22pm at the same hospital.
“He was the kindest, most loving boy anyone could meet. Young and old, everyone had a good word for him.
“Keegan never saw the bad in anyone and would do anything he could for you.
“He was always smiling, though he suffered for years with Perthes’ disease, but it never got him down and he enjoy life to the full.”
From the family’s home in Westward Place, Harraton, the proud mum-of-three spoke about how Keegan loved his bike so much, he kept it in his bedroom.
He was also a talented artist, never going anywhere without a pencil and loved his Staffie Nike.
The Biddick College pupil hoped to become an artist or ride his BMX professionally.
“He never went anywhere without a pencil and a paper in his hand and never went a day without his Rockstar energy drink.”
She added: “We will never forget you and we will love you forever.”
Keegan was also close to sister Kennedy’s partner Zac Ellis, 18, who called him his “brother-in-law” and was “identical” to his uncle Melvin, 44, often repairing the bikes of cousins Amy, 11, and Clayton, 10.
Grandparents Ethel, 73, and Melvin, 74, who live in nearby Sycamore Avenue, said they would never get over losing their first grandchild, who was named after Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan.
Football fan Keegan will be laid to rest in his favourite number 29 Newcastle shirt, complete with his name on the back, a pair of chinos and a cap.
Friends going the service at St George’s Church, on Friday, at 1.30pm, will show their respect by wearing similar outfits.
Kennedy said: “He had insomnia so he used to stay up at night listening to music, then go round his best friend Danny’s house.
“He loved dubstep and his favourite artist was Skrillex, so we’re going to his tune Bangarang at his funeral.
“The last time I saw him was at my grandma’s, when he let me ride his bike a little bit and I rode it all the way.
“But before I was pregnant, we were together all the time.”