Teen who died in fall tragedy was a lifesaver, funeral hears

Cameron Baxter
Cameron Baxter

Mourners at the funeral of 18-year-old Cameron Baxter heard how the young man saved his grandfather’s life just a few months ago.

The teenager from Castlewellan, Co Down, died last week after a fall at Greenhill YMCA where he was training to be an outdoor instructor.

Having been in a coma for nine days, he was able to give the gift of life to four people by donating his heart, liver, pancreas and kidney.

His funeral took place today in Castlewellan Presbyterian Church and the sermon was given by the YMCA’s John Peacock, who told how Cameron had not only saved lives by donating organs, but had also saved his grandfather’s life.

Mr Peacock told mourners: “Cameron’s love for his granda was demonstrated just a few months ago when he saved his life.

“When his granda fell and smashed his arm through a glass-fronted fire, Cameron stayed with him and showed such kindness and compassion as well as practical help until emergency aid arrived.

“We seek and find comfort in knowing that in both life and in death, Cameron brought life to others.”

Mr Peacock added: “Everyone who knew him loved the rascal in Cameron, the mischievous, fun-loving side.

“He drove his mum up the walls. He was always up to pranks.”

As well as training to be an outdoor instructor, the 18-year-old was also a qualified lifeguard.

Mr Peacock told family and friends who had gathered in Castlewellan Presbyterian Church: “Cameron was not one for sitting down but would much rather be outdoors in the fields or hills. He found life in those hills and indeed in the Creator God who made them.

“Cameron found his place in the outdoors, in the community at Greenhill, where under the direction of his dad and the staff and camaraderie of the volunteers, he found his place. How very sad it lasted such a short time.

“This time two weeks ago, Cameron was going about his business, with a smile on his face as always and then tragedy struck.

“It does have to stand as a stark warning to us all, we can live our lives thinking of the ordinary things of this world but yet none of us knows what tomorrow will bring and so it is a sobering reminder to turn our thoughts to more spiritual things.”

Cameron’s sister Ashleigh, a rugby player for Ulster and Ireland, also spoke bravely at the funeral, saying on behalf of herself and her sister Lindsay that “Cameron is the best friend we have ever had.”

She said: “Through the tragedy of this accident, Cameron has touched a large number of people, many telling us of significant changes they are making in their life due to the experiences of the past two weeks.

“It is obvious that for us as a family going forward we are devastated that Cameron will not be with us, the impact on us has been truly life changing.

“Cameron’s impact does not stop there though.

“Although Cameron has passed away he still lives on through many people. As a family we knew that Cameron would have wanted his organs donated to give others a second chance.

“Four people were given that second chance,” said his sister.

Cameron is survived by his parents, Rosie and Kenny and sisters Ashleigh and Lindsay.

Plans are already underway to set up a Cameron Trust at Greenhill YMCA.