On Friday last week, 10-year-old Jack Power stood in front of kids and parents at his Melbourne primary school. Grinning from ear to ear, the Grade Five kid graciously accepted a certificate of compassion for helping another boy with maths.
Just one day later, Jack was run down on a pedestrian crossing while walking with his little sister, Steph, 6, and a 12-year-old friend. He suffered catastrophic head injuries.
Despite frantic attempts to save him, Jack didn’t make it. His shattered family and friends spent the weekend next to his hospital bed, saying goodbye to their kindhearted little man.
The terrible accident in the Melbourne suburb of Blackburn North has left an impossible hole in the hearts of all the people who knew and loved Jack.
‘He was doing all the right things’
Through the pain and sadness, Jack’s parents, Bonnie and Matt Power have shared a statement, asking drivers to remember their son every time they get behind the wheel.
We need to start making one another accountable on the road. Toot your horn if someone is looking at their phone instead of the road. Ask yourself, are you being present on the road? Stare down other drivers.
We’ve got to stop this happening.” – Bonnie Power
Jack should have been safe as he followed the traffic signals to cross the road. But, as we all know, life can be incredibly unfair. Jack, Steph and their friend were well versed in how pedestrian crossings work.
But, unfortunately that wasn’t enough to keep them safe. The driver allegedly didn’t notice the kids crossing. While the two girls jumped out of the way, Jack didn’t make it.
“That’s the tragedy, he was doing all the right things,” Bonnie says.
“My heart is broken but I am determined to make this tragic loss stand for something.”
Jack was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital, but the swelling to his brain was too much. The boy with his whole life ahead of him died on Sunday, 19 August 2018, one month shy of his 11th birthday. His heartbroken parents agreed to donate his organs. Up to 10 children will be saved thanks to Jack’s final, selfless gift.
In Memory of Jack Power
While the heartbreak is almost too much to comprehend, Bonnie and Matt are celebrating their son’s beautiful-yet-short life and hope to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving through Facebook Page, In Memory of Jack Power.
“[Jack] was one of those rare individuals who was always caring and compassionate about others. His sudden death has been such a shock to so many of us – family, friends and even people who had just met him, that we all wanted to carry on his good work to make the world a better place.” – In Memory of Jack Power
Immediately after starting the page the messages, memories and photos came pouring in. The stories shared are both beautiful and heartbreaking (have tissues on hand) from friends, family, teachers, even strangers.
They paint a picture of a much-loved kid – a smart, funny, well-mannered and compassionate kid who was everyone’s friend, every parent’s dream. A kid who – over and over again – is described with the same word by all – kind. A kid who loved Fortnite and karate and cricket, a kid with an impossibly bright future. A kid who now lies dead because of an awful split-second mistake at a traffic light.
‘We are all missing Jack’
One heartbroken friend writes, “There are no words to describe our broken hearts. Noah is completely devastated and missing his best buddy.”
His uncle shares, “We are missing Jack. Devastated. Numb. With grieving hearts, tears in our eyes the love he brought to the world will never be forgotten. Being his uncle I watched this beautiful boy grow through many stages, I’m so proud of his achievements and the direction he was working towards.”
One of Jack’s teachers writes, “I was so lucky to teach Jack in Year 3. Such a sweet, caring young man. Clever, but very humble.”
And from a parent: Jack was in my daughter’s class this year at school. Everyone loved Jack!
Boys and girls loved him. I think many of the girls had a crush on him actually. Everyone at school is devastated. His classmates are really struggling trying to deal with his loss.”
And another friend: “We are all privileged and better people to have cuddled, laughed with, danced with, paddled out to sea with, spent time with and had just generally had in our lives. I love you Jack x Forever in my heart.”
Gone But Never Forgotten
Scrolling through the various photo albums of Jack is equally as heartbreaking.
Each album is filled with memories we all have with our kids – posing on the first day of school, splashing in the waves at the beach, camping with family, riding bikes through the park, opening presents on Christmas Day, posing with face paint lathered on his face. Surrounded by loved ones, Jack’s bright eyes and bold smile light up every single photo.
Our hearts are heavy for Bonnie, Matt and their family. No parent should have to go through this. Life is just not fair.
To show your support for the Power family’s campaign to raise awareness against distracted driving, head to In Memory of Jack Power.