This is the utterly heartbreaking moment a teenager says her final goodbye to her childhood sweetheart, just before his life support machine is turned off.
Stephanie Ray, 15, remained by her boyfriend Blake Ward's bedside as the decision was made to turn off his life support machine after the 16-year-old got into difficulties while swimming in the sea in Wales on Tuesday.
The teenager's family have now launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his funeral. At the time of writing it's raised £10,778, over double its £5,000 goal.
Stephanie decided to share the heartbreaking moment the two young lovers shared a final hug before his life support machine was turned off on her Facebook account, with a moving message.
Taking to the social networking site, she wrote:
Today has been the hardest day for me and it will be a day I will never be able to forget. As some of you may know Blake was involved in a terrible accident on Tuesday.
I have been by his side through it all and I haven’t left him.
As you all know Blake was a loving a caring person and would do anything for anyone.
We was told yesterday that Blake would never recover and his brain was too damaged and we had to make the hard decision of turning his machine off and let him go.
But just know Blake wasn’t in any pain and he passed away with his family around him and he will forever be missed and he will always have a special place in my heart and I will never forget you Blake fly high my baby boy and I’m gonna make you proud love you and I always will.
Stephanie's mother, Rebecca Ray, of Coseley, West Midlands, was with the young couple when Blake was tragically swept out to sea.
She initially thought the group's cries for help were shrieks of laughter, as Blake, from Dudley, and two other teenagers got into trouble at Twyn North, Wales.
Speaking to The Sun she said:
We’d arrived on the Sunday and the weather had not been too good, so on Tuesday when the sun came out we headed for the beach.
They were only five minutes ahead of us.
When we got to the beach I could hear them shouting and at first I thought it was screams of laughter.
Then I said to my sister ‘Are they in trouble?’
We dumped everything and ran over to the rocks.
Ward was one of three teenagers pulled from the sea in Tywyn, Gwynedd, in Wales, last Tuesday. At the time of the tragedy, two helicopters, three lifeboats, two coast guard teams, paramedics and police were scrambled to the seafront.
He was rushed to Alder Hay's Children's hospital, but Blake suffered devastating brain damage, and died of his injuries four days later. The condition of the other two boys is not known.
Speaking to The Sun, April Garratt, headmistress of Hillcrest School and Community College, paid tribute to Blake, saying:
Blake was a wonderful young man, his teachers would say of him that he was bright, funny and kind-hearted.
It's such a tragedy when a young life is taken especially in these circumstances.
Our thoughts are with Blake's family and friends and the school will do all it can to support them and out students.
To donate, visit: www.gofundme.com/my-beautiful-blakes-funeral