The heartbeat of one of the survivors of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash will be permanently beating on the skin of his siblings.
Morgan Gobeil has been in the hospital since his Saskatchewan Junior Hockey team bus collided with a semi-truck on April 6.
Since then, his family has been by his side – but Morgan’s siblings Ryan and Sarah wanted to do something a little more.
“But we sat there by his bed and I was looking at the monitor … I thought, I could watch this forever,” Ryan told Global News.
“I was watching the screen for, I don’t know how long it was. I thought to myself, I never want this moment to end for me.”
That’s when he came up with the idea to tattoo the defencemen’s heartbeat on his arm. He and Sarah, along with Ryan’s fiancee Mallory Horn and Morgan’s friend Drew Thiemann, jumped in the car Saturday night and headed to the tattoo parlour.
“Within a half hour, we all had tattoos. We were able to head back to the hospital and continue to support our brother and the other victims as well,” Ryan said.
Ryan says Morgan is an amazing kid; he was the captain of his midget team before joining up with the Broncos.
“I think he learned how to lead there and be a part of a team,” Ryan said. “Obviously, having a different role being a rookie with the Broncos was very different for him. I’m so proud of him for adapting to that.”
In respect for the families of victims, the status of Morgan’s injuries are private. Twelve people remain in hospital, and as of Monday, four were in critical condition.
Ryan says Morgan hasn’t seen the tattoo yet, but he’s sure he’ll like it.
“He’s going to owe us that’s for sure. He’s going to owe me a tattoo, so I don’t know how he’ll feel about that,” Ryan joked. “I’m sure he’ll like it. I’m sure he’ll be touched by it. It’s not just us, it’s the support from everybody has been so overwhelming.”
FULL COVERAGE: Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy
The group isn’t alone in wanting to memorialize this tragedy on their skin.
The tattoo shop where they went has seen an influx of customers with similar requests.
“We got a couple coming in tomorrow for jersey tattoos,” said Laurel Turner, manager of Rites of Passage Tattoo. “People are getting numbers of people who have passed or recovering in the hospital.
“There’s not much you can do in a situation like this and you want to do something. So it’s nice we are able to help them mourn.”
As for Ryan, he said he’s happy to always have a part of his brother with him.
“I have this on me and it is something that I can see all the time. Whether we’re in the waiting room or going to catch some sleep, or eating or whatever. We can always see it. It’s always there.”
As Morgan keeps fighting through his injuries, Ryan is asking people across the country to keep offering their support.
“Everybody who didn’t make it to the hospital, keep praying for the players,” he pleaded. “Praying for their families. It’s obviously not an easy situation for anyone.”