In an effort to honour the life of a young Canucks fan

In an effort to honour the life of a young Canucks fan

Saying good-bye to Ashley

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents rallied to help the family of Ashley Coldwell, the six-year-old who died Christmas Day

  • Jan. 9, 2014 6:00 a.m.


While Parksville Qualicum Beach residents mourn the death of six-year-old Ashley, his grieving aunt, Rebecca Coldwell, said her family is taken aback by the “outstanding” show of community support.

Ashley died late Christmas night. He mentioned having a headache before his mother, Becky Morton, tucked him into bed at his grandmother’s Nanaimo home. He said it was “the best Christmas ever.”

An hour later, a parents worst nightmare became a reality. Morton found her son out cold. Despite attempting CPR for over an hour on and being rushed by ambulance to the hospital, Ashley was pronounced dead in the early hours of Dec. 26.

According to Coldwell, the B.C. Coroners Service found swelling in Ashley’s brain citing the potential for a viral infection. The family is patiently waiting for more information.

In the face of such misfortune, the community of Parksville Qualicum Beach rallied together to provide support.

“It’s a nice feeling at a bad time,” said Coldwell, who said she was astounded by the three local fundraisers organized at a moment’s notice for her family.

“The Rod and Gun, the Upper Deck Sports Bar and the Frontiersman Bar and Grill all hosted events raising close to $15,000,” said Coldwell. “And Yates Funeral Service waved the cost of the service.”

Both parents grew up in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area and have made a lot of connections.

“Darren and Becky, Ashley’s parents, are really great people,” said Coldwell. “It’s unfortunate that tragedy brings people together, but the silver lining is the outpour of care from the community.”

And support is coming in from all directions, including the Lower Mainland.

“Ashley was an avid Canucks fan,” explained Coldwell, fighting back tears. “So we all decided to wear Canucks jerseys for the service to honor him.”

However, Coldwell said Ashley’s grandparents had a nearly impossible time finding jerseys, as most stores were sold out after the busy Christmas season.

The grandparents trolled the internet, asked collectors and visited stores for two days straight to no avail. As a last resort, Ashely’s grandmother sent a Facebook message through the Canucks fan page explaining their story and attaching a photo of Ashley at the Canucks fan zone in downtown Vancouver, face painted with blue stripes.

Coldwell said a few days later, Ashley’s grandparents received an e-mail from Wynn Moody, the manager of sales and service for Canucks Sports and Entertainment, which read:

“Just wanted you to know that the jerseys will be FedEx’ed to you tomorrow morning. You should receive it within two business days. We were so touched by your e-mail and as soon as I opened the photo, I broke into tears. I recognized Ashley and his father. I remember seeing them in the store and admiring his team color whiskers. My heart goes out to your family. Our team is so lucky to have your support. Please let us take care of these jerseys. They will come to you at no charge. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of Ashley’s celebration of life. I hope that this will help you honor his memory. Please let me know if there is anything else that we can help with. Our deepest condolences for your loss.”

The celebration of life for Ashley Coldwell was held Wednesday at Yates Funeral Service. Family and friends wore Canucks jerseys to honor of one of their greatest fans, whose life was taken far too early.

Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Most Read