TEARS were mixed with laughter as a poignant tribute was paid to a popular South Tyneside father–to–be.
More than 400 mourners turned out to pay their last respects to Grant Adams at South Shields Crematorium in John Reid Road, today.
The 17–year–old’s funeral service was so well attended the majority of friends and loved ones had to stand outside.
The teenager suffered horrific throat injuries after falling into a sunbed at his home in South Frederick Street, South Shields, on June 8.
Despite being flown by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, he died the following day.
As Grant’s coffin arrived, covered in floral tributes displaying the words ‘son, dad and cuz’ his family including mother Amanda Smedley and pregnant girlfriend Sharna Gardner, 15, could be seen weeping in the limousines which followed.
Father David Carr told the congregation that while Grant’s life has been short, he has given new life and hope to others by donating his organs.
He said: “We have to give thanks to God for Grant’s life. Family and friends are taking comfort that by donating his organs Grant has given many other people a new chance of life and new hope.
“All of us here today are agonising over this tragic death.
“Surely Grant had so much to live for, so many more years to giv.
“The truth is we will never be able to make sense of what’s happened, but as Christians we acknowledge that the place Grant held in your hearts will never be replaced.”
Father Carr said Grant, who was a member of Horsley Hill Amateur Boxing Club, would not have wanted his loved ones to be sad after his passing, and instead to remember the happy memories he shared with them all.
He said: “Grant was born in Sunderland and moved to South Shields at a young age. He was a typical lad, occasionally causing mischief.
“Those of you who are friends of Grant know that he made friends for life, he was always there for you, not just for the good times, but for the tough times too.”
Fr Carr then made mourners laugh as they remembered Grant’s favourite pastimes.
He said: “When Grant left school, he got himself a job as an apprentice bricklayer for Carillion and he recently passed all of his assessments.
“His work day started early, with his alarm set for 5am, which he’d always sleep through, often needing some gentle persuasion from his girlfriend to get up.
“Once he had awoken he’d reach for his mobile to check his messages before texting his mum, asking for a cup of tea.
“After returning from work he’d like to watch television shows including the Real House Wives of Orange County and Millionaire Matchmaker.”
Fr Carr also told how family orientated Grant was, and how he and girlfriend Sharna, from Cleadon Park, were looking forward to the birth of their daughter, who they have named Rhkiya Mae, in August.
He said: “He developed a new interest in shopping for clothes, baby clothes, for the baby he was expecting with Sharna in a few months’ time.
“Family meant everything to Grant.”
As the curtains drew around the coffin the sounds of heartbroken sobs were amplified by a loudspeaker system across the crematorium’s courtyard.
Loved ones then gave donations to the GNAAS as they made their way outside to the sounds of Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t You Worry Child.
Outside more floral tributes were placed in the garden of remembrance, including two pairs of boxing gloves, a can of Fosters, a bricklaying trowel and a Sunderland AFC shirt.