CARTHAGE — Tyler Christman, the young football player who sustained brain damage in a game on Saturday will be giving “a second chance” at life to others, according to his family.
Tyler’s father, Jason Christman, posted a tribute to Tyler on Facebook just after 7 a.m. Tuesday. Tyler reportedly died Tuesday at a Syracuse hospital.
“You will always be our hero and soon you will be a hero to the people that receive your life saving organ donations and a hero to all the family members who have spent many sleepless nights praying for their miracle,” Mr. Christman wrote, “YOU will be that miracle. You will live on as such a wonderful gift of love and life.”
Describing Tyler as “handsome, confident, outgoing, funny, lovable, helpful, athletic, fearless and always quick witted,” Mr. Christman said that Tyler had “experienced and done more in (his) 14 short years than most do in a lifetime.”
In addition to Tyler, Mr. Christman and Samantha Parks Christman have two sons, Zach and Dylan, who will “continue to make our lives purposeful and worth living,” Mr. Christman said.
Tyler’s Aunt, Faith Parks, described Tyler as “my sweet, feisty, live fast and free nephew.”
She encouraged parents with children who knew Tyler to check on them today.
Tyler, a freshman at Carthage Central School, sustained a head injury in a junior varsity football game against West Genesee High School in Camillus on Saturday afternoon. He collapsed on the field not long after tackling an opposing player. Tyler was unresponsive and taken to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, where surgeons performed brain surgery.
Carthage Athletic Director Jason Brown and football coach Joseph Sech described Tyler in a joint statement as “an amazing young athlete” who competed on many district teams.
“His ability to be an outstanding teammate and his infectious personality will be greatly missed by all that knew him,” the statement reads. “Words cannot describe how heartbroken we all are for the entire Christman family. Tyler, and all of the Christmans have been a very big part of the Carthage Football family for years. Our sincerest condolences go out to their entire family.”
Garry Schwartz, president of the Carthage Board of Education, issued a statement on behalf of the board expressing that “our sincere thoughts and prayers go to the Christman family for their tragic loss of Tyler.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are also with our District coaches, students, and staff. This has saddened the entire community and beyond. We pray for peace and comfort for all,” the board said.
Carthage Superintendent Jennifer Premo said the district will continue to provide counseling support and services for staff and students in the days and weeks ahead.
“The Carthage Central School District is deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of freshman student athlete Tyler Christman,” Mrs. Premo said. “Tyler was an outstanding student who was highly involved in the school community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Resources for families, students, and staff are posted on the district’s website, carthagecsd.org.
The Carthage community and far beyond rallied behind Tyler and his family following word of his injury. Hundreds answered the call to wear red on Monday in honor of Tyler.
The response culminated in a rally held at the Village Park Monday night to “Light It Up For Tyler,” which attracted hundreds of gatherers and dozens of first responder units.
“Our family appreciates all the thoughts, prayers and support. We know he felt all the love being sent his way. Our Tyler was and forever will be loved,” his father said.