|Birth: ||Sep. 10, 1991|
|Death: ||Jul. 28, 2005|
Ryan Spencer Collins, age 13, passed away on July 28, 2005 in Sequoia National Park in California. He was born Sept. 10, 1991 in Napa, attended Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School, and was preparing to enter the eighth grade. Ryan is survived by his parents, Sue and Peter Collins, his brother Christopher, grandparents Bill and Kathy Collins, and his grandmother Carol Spencer.
A service will be held Friday, August 5, at 11 a.m., in the St. Helena Catholic School gymnasium.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Troop 1 BSA, c/o R.W. Darter, P.O. Box 32, St. Helena, CA 94574
Ryan Collins' heart stopped beating Thursday after he was electrocuted by the lightning, and doctors subsequently determined he was brain-dead, said David Heneghan of Transplant Network. The young man had been connected to a breathing machine for a time so that his organs could be donated.
Sue Collins, Ryan's mother, said she was told her son, an eighth-grader from St. Helena in Northern California, never regained consciousness. Collins said the Scout group rallied around the injured and tried to save McCollough and Ryan, taking turns administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation for about two hours while waiting for help.
Two Scouts, 13-year-old Owen Hale and 15-year-old Tom Smith, ran about a mile to a ranger station, Collins said. Helicopters lifted members of the group out of the area, with the most severely injured going to University Medical Center. Others were treated at Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia.
Sue and Peter Collins and their other son, 11-year-old Chris, rushed by car from their home in St. Helena north of San Francisco when they got a call about 9 p.m. Thursday that Ryan was badly hurt. "We had enough information to know it was grave," Sue Collins said.
Interviewed at the hospital Friday, she was still in shock, but she and other family members were comforted knowing Ryan was doing many of the things he loved best during the last hours of his life. "It's the way he would have wanted to go," brother Chris said.
Long before the accident, the Collins family had agreed to donate their organs if anything ever happened to them. "He would love to save someone else's life," Chris said.
Ryan had been a Boy Scout for two years and was close to reaching the rank of Tenderfoot Second Class.
"He loved hiking, climbing, exploring the back- country and everything about scouting," Sue Collins said. After participating in three-day wilderness trips, he was eligible to go on the troop's annual nine-day trek. The group was on the seventh day of the trip, which was to culminate in climbing 14,491-foot Mount Whitney.
"Everything was going absolutely beautifully," Collins said. "They were having a wonderful time. Everything was full-steam ahead."
The lightning strike was a freak accident she had never worried about, Collins said. She remained proud of the Scouts and adults in the group, saying that rangers said the troop had done "everything right" in taking cover from the storm and then seeking help while treating the injured after the accident.
Ryan will be deeply missed.
Created by: seeshell
Record added: Jul 30, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11446781