Skateboarder dies after falling off board and hitting head just days after his birthday

By Graeme Murray

A skateboarder has died after falling off his board and hitting his head days after his 25th birthday.

The tragedy happened when Raphael Vieira was Pizzey skatepark, in Miami, when he suffered a serious brain injury after the fall.

Mr Vieira, from Brazil, was taken to hospital and put in intensive care unit, but doctors could not revive him.

The horrific accident came just four weeks after his 25th birthday and has lead to a stream of online tributes from his friends and relatives.

Luah Carmo, Mr Viera's childhood friend, now living in Australia, said Raphael's family decided to donate his organs to help save others lives.

His family are on the other side of the world because the Covid-19 pandemic and Ms Carmo has launched a GoFundMe page to pay for Mr Vieira's funeral and cremation.

On the fundraising page she wrote: "Doctors performed numerous procedures and tried to contain the brain pressure with all possible resources but unfortunately our big guy's brain injury was too severe.

"The doctors tried their best but nothing could be done to bring him back to consciousness.

"Faced with this event, the family opted for an incredible gesture and have decided to donate his organs."

In Australia a single organ donor in can save up to seven lives, according to DonateLife.

According to the Daily Mail, Mr Vieira, originally from Curitiba, moved to Australia in 2017 and his online media profiles show he was a keen surfer and motorbike rider

Tributes have been circulating online for the Brazilian expat, known affectionately to loved ones as 'Rapha'.

Friends in South America shared a photo of the message "Rapha, forever in our hearts' etched into the sand in Portuguese at a local beach.

"One of the best vibe guys I've ever met, rest in peace brother,'" a friend wrote.

Mr Vieira, known as "Rapha" to loved ones, regularly posted about his adventures in Australia on social media.

Bruno Felipe said he woke up on Thursday morning only to discover his friend had passed away.

"I wish I could have written to you when I heard. I thought I was so strong with goodbyes, [but] I've seen myself crying nonstop since I received the news," he wrote on Facebook.

"Man, I'm very sad about what happened, but I promise you that this will pass and the good memories will be remembered.

"How huge his heart was and how light his energy was, he had no evil. As your father said, "Rapha has always been a free spirit." And you always really were, right?'

"I want to thank you for your friendship, for the learning you left here, for your way and for your light.

"Man, I'm sure your passage was light, calm and full of peace. Now you're up there looking at us. I'm sure that in the next life, we'll meet again."

Relatives shared a poem by Saint Augustine titled 'Death is Nothing' about people who pass away.

"All of us in the family believe that Raphael would like us to follow our lives according to this poem," his mother wrote.

Mr Vieira had reportedly been living in the Gold Coast after moving to Australia in 2017.

Loved ones in Brazil also shared a photo of a tribute inscribed on the beach Portuguese, which translates in English to: 'Rapha forever in our hearts

The GoFundMe page has been launched to help Mr Vieira's family cover the cost of his funeral and cremation.

"Raphael, love of our lives, you are and will always be here with us! We love you infinitely!"

His brother said Rapha will forever be in our mind and hearts 'forever' while his aunt said she was still in shock he was gone.

"I can't believe it. Go in peace beloved nephew. You will be greatly missed. We love you," she said.

Ms Carmo said the fundraiser, on Sunday, would also go towards paying some of Mr Vieira's medical bills.

"The good news is that the health insurance that Rapha had will cover most of the medical expenses but not the entry into the emergency, which was $1,401.90,' she said.

"We would appreciate anything that can help us to promote a passage full of peace and love for this amazing guy, who shared his journey with us."

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