BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A 17-year-old Mountain View High School graduate has died after an accident at the Tetherow Resort pool, and hundreds turned out for an “honor walk” at St. Charles Bend as he was taken to Portland for organ donations.
The Mountain View Lacrosse Club posted this note to Facebook on Wednesday night about Ryan O’Connell:
"This past Saturday, Ryan George O’Connell beloved son, sibling and friend to so many was in a drowning accident. He has been at St. Charles with a severe brain injury and passed away last (Tuesday) night.
"Today, the Cougs lacrosse family and many others said goodbye to one of our own at his “Honor Walk” to make his way to Portland in order to donate his organs to bless others.
"Many have been praying for Ryan and the O’Connell family. This has been greatly appreciated and felt by all of them. The outpouring of love and support that has been shown is a testament to a community who loves this family dearly.
"Ryan impacted every single person he ever knew with his positive, fun-loving outlook on life and his willingness to bring all into the fold no matter what. We like to say that he really never had a bad day.
“As a coach many people are interested in what lessons you impart upon your student-athletes. What many people don’t realize is how much you learn and are impacted by the student-athletes you coach.
"Ryan overcame immense adversity overcoming a season ending knee injury his junior year. When he returned his senior year, Ryan was that bright light at every practice always ready to get on the field, put in extra work, and compete with his teammates. After every game, win or lose, he would let us know he was so thankful to be competing with his friends and playing lacrosse.
"Ryan was absolutely grateful and happy for every opportunity just to be out on the field. Being thankful and grateful for the opportunities in life are lessons Ryan taught and reminded everyone on the team.
"While he will be missed, his lessons remain. I’m thankful and honored I had the opportunity to coach such a fine young man and be reminded of some very important lessons. Make the most of each day and be thankful and happy for every opportunity. Thank you Ryan, we love you brother.”– Coach Marut