In the Old Testament, there was a man named Noah, he was a man who knew, followed and spoke for God, and who had continually warned the people to turn to God before it was too late.
Noah was commissioned by God to build the ark which allowed himself, his family, and the animals of each species to survive the great Flood.
God had no choice but to destroy the inhabitants of the earth because their wickedness had become so great and had corrupted everyone but Noah's family.
Water is a cleansing agent, and the Lord had to completely cleanse the earth so that He could continue to work with humanity. He had to start over if you will, and He did it through the few people who had remained faithful to Him.
After the Flood was over, Noah received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant, the banner of God's promise that He would never again destroy the world by water.
Noah had a heart for the people, a heart of comfort and rest, a heart that wanted the best for them. That was Noah of old, and that was our Noah too!
Noah Christopher Burgoyne
"A heart as big as the Oceans" and "A lover of children"
Noah - His name means "Rest, Comfort"
Christopher - "bearing Christ" "to bear, to carry" "Christ's armor bearer"
Burgoyne - From Bourgogne, now Burgundy, an old province of France having Dijon as it's center. A name given to a native of that province
Noah and his baseball team (Windom park) N.E. Mpls, Mn
Family Picture 1980 at Aunt Patti and Rick's Wedding
Noah's footbal game in Powderhorn park, South Mpls, Mn
Craig, Ellen, Noah and Jonah at Lake Geneva Family camp
Noah with his powderhorn parkboard football team. 1987 - 1988
Noah's High School Graduation 1991
Noah, Jonah and friends Jenny and Marsha
This is just a small tribute to Noah's life, but it is a way to honor him and who he was in his life. We all have a life lived, and a time when that life comes to an end, and we need to celebrate them no matter what their life was, but there are some who were just very special people, who either made a difference in people's lives, or at least tried hard with everything they had.
Noah was my middle child, and I say of Noah that he had a heart as big as the oceans, a heart for people, which is something to be greatly honored. But sometimes people with those big hearts will open them to everyone, and even to anyone in an effort to help them and make a difference.
But that can cause a lack of carefulness, putting them in danger to accomplish the greater good, and the other person's need. Of course, that is what hero's are made of isn't it, those who leave us a legacy of how life is supposed to be lived.
Such was the life of Noah Burgoyne and what he tried to do to help other people. It was to see them do well with their lives and in the end of it all do the best he could with his.
The first section are pictures from his childhood and on into adulthood, the rest is of his life, what happened and why. To the end he was a young man with love for all and with good character that taught many people the important lessons in life.
Always and Forever Noah
Burgoyne families move to Newfolden, Mn 1980
Noah moving up in Baseball
Noah at 4 years old
Noah, Jonah and friends Jenny and Marsha
Noah and friends from camp
Diploma and speech time for Noah
Missions trip to Mexico City
Climbing the Pyramids
The A/G Missions team
Noah and his team leader
Climbing inside a Pyramid
Noah at brother Mike and Tammy's wedding
Noah and Dad at the Lake
Noah's wedding, it is a Burgoyne Boy's affair
Noah's wedding and family picture
Noah's graduation picture
Noah and friend Travis
Minnesota Challenge Incarceration Program
Willow River, Mn
Noah, another graduation day
Another diploma and speech
A new episode in Noah's life
Marching to graduation
The old gym
Leaving and moving on
A goodbye to leaders
A goodbye to the men
Noah in Excellent Shape!
Noah saying goodbye to the guys
Noah came home from CIP in 1999 healthy, free, and ready to go forward in his new life. He went to work with his dad, something he had always wanted to do and he did very well at it.
On December 17th 2000, Noah was at his brothers home when they received a phone call that a friend he had been working with, (she was battling drugs, alcohol, and a divorce she didn't want), was threatening suicide. He had tried to help her before and with good results, so he was committed to trying again.
Noah went immediately to her after stopping home to get his cell phone and tell his dad he would be back in a bit as he had something he had to take care of.
When he walked into her home, he found her standing in the kitchen taking pills. He got them away from her and stopped her, then she took a knife off the kitchen counter to cut herself with, Noah grabbed the knife and threw it in the sink all the time talking to her to calm her down. While all of that was going on, he saw three suicide notes on the other kitchen counter, that distracted him for just a moment as he stopped to pick up the one that was addressed to him. At that point she quickly grabbed her car keys off the other counter and ran out the door to get away.
It was at that one moment in time that Noah made the mistake of his life, as he ran after her, caught up to her before she could drive away, and jumped into the passenger side of the car to stop her. But she didn't stop, instead she took off and sped away at full speed, and then refusing to be helped, she ran the car off the road and into the trees.
When she hit the trees, the car doors flew open and she thrown out the driver's door and onto the highway, where she was promptly hit by a snow plow and got exactly what she demanded to have, she died.
Noah was thrown out the front window that had been shattered when they hit the trees, and he was thrown into a ditch where he broke his neck. Noah broke his neck at C2 of his spine, which is very high, and you cannot move or breathe on your own with that injury. Death would have been the outcome for Noah that day, and it would have been within just 3 to 5 minutes, but the Lord had other plans.
It was northern Minnesota, on Dec 17th and it was 10 degrees below 0. In the vehicle right behind that snow plow was a couple who had everything Noah needed to stay alive. They had a flashlight to find Noah in the ditch, a car full of blankets to keep Noah warm, and both of them knew CPR very well. So, the man got on the ground and crawled underneath Noah breathing for him until the ambulance came.
That began Noah's (and our) very hard journey through the next 14 months of his life. Noah had the surgery and care needed to put him in order, and then lived in three different hospitals experiencing tremendous hardships, pain and heartbreak. He was very healthy, and in very good shape, but it was extremely hard with that injury as he was paralyzed from the neck down and that is a very hard injury to have.
It was a hard life to live, but he lived it with courage, grace and perseverance. He forgave the woman right away, he knew she was very troubled and out of control, but he also knew that it was he that had made the choice to try to stop her. It was the worst move he could have made that day, by jumping in her car to try to stop her, but he had to try. He was so sure he could still help her as he had done it so many times before and also because he knew she was really serious this time, shown to him by the suicide notes.
Noah tried but failed to stop her, but he also made another grave mistake that day. Noah always, without failure, wore his seatbelt when he was driving and also when he was riding, always, without exception, except this one time! This one time he got caught up in the moment, in the turmoil of it all and didn't think to snap it, and it cost him dearly.
Noah in the first weeks after the incident. He was now paralized, bound to a ventilator to breath, dependent on everyone else to take care of him, and always in a delicate condition as you are always living on life support. At this point he is experiencing the extreme cold and hot temperature swings the body goes through when the biological thermometer is not working right
This is now 4 months after and he is about to get the Halo off. The halo is an apparatus that helps to heal the broken neck and gives you the best chance for recovery. All people who break their neck today get one of these, or should. This is Noah's room in the Rehab hospital.
Noah with some of his nurses and therapists. This was in the rehabilitation hospital where he lived for one year.
Noah was being very gracious to have his picture taken thay day. He didn't like my taking pictures of him in that condition, and who can blame him, but they have become very important photos that may have saved many, many lives so I know he wouldn't mind now.
Living your life in a hospital is very hard, and no fun, but he tried to make the very best of it and he did a great job.
Noah was a marvelous young man with everything to live for. He was the kindest person you ever knew who just loved life and loved people. He cared about you and wanted you to do well in life, and it hurt him when you weren't doing well as that was who he was. John 15:13 is the verse that tells something of Noah's life, and not only of his whole life, but especially of the last part of it. He tried to help a friend that day: he gave his life trying to save hers. It was a noble and honest act to stand in the gap for her so she could live, but he also came to realize later that some people cannot be helped, as they do not really want help, they just want what they want.
He also came to realize as hard as it was that he should have let her go because he couldn't help her. He should have done it because there were so many other people in life who really did want help, and also for the children that he could have helped which was such a big part of his heart. He came to realize that he should not have put his life in jeopardy unnecessarily and left her to the authorities. He came to realize that he should have lived to fulfill his life and that was a very hard reality to face. His life was not totally wasted in the end, not at all, but knowing when you are in over your head and making wise decisions must be a part of all of our lives.
We all make many mistakes in life trying to do what we think is best at the time, but we all need to slow down, think through things and make very wise choices. Throughout those 14 months in those 3 hospitals there were countless people who took care of Noah, and he had a constant flow of opportunity to use his heart of love and compassion. There were so many people who did not do as they should have in caring for him, many who were careless with his life, and some who treated him terrible. Yet, he willingly forgave them, treated them as he should have, with love and respect right in middle of it all and right up to the end too. Some of the treatment was really bad, but he loved and forgave them anyway, and in so doing he taught them how they should act, how to treat people, and he showed them what love really looked like.
What I have done since Noah's death is to become a speaker for MADD. I speak to their IMPACT panels, which are events that offenders who have received DWI's or DUI's must attend in MN.
I also speak to High Schools, Jr High's and even some Grade School assemblies. I speak in many prisons as well, and wherever I go and tell the story of Noah's life, I challenge people not to take their lives for granted or take them too lightly. I challenge them to pay the price for their own lives by protecting them and living them well, and that if they will do that; they will not jeopardize someone else's life. I challenge them to live and appreciate their lives as they cannot afford to lose them.
People are very receptive and hear me clearly. It is the least I can do not only for them, but especially for my son. Noah would very much appreciate that his life is being used to help people, and not only young people, but especially children and prisoners. They are often the last people that really get the help they need, and it would really bless his heart to know that some are actually getting the kind of help they need.
What would Noah tell people if he could? Buckle up, slow down, don't move on emotions but with wisdom, reject all thoughts of suicide, seek out and get the help you need, and live your lives to the full. Live and do the best you can by respecting your life. Life is too precious to lose, or waste, and certainly to great to throw away for any reason.
The things you go through in all of this are very hard, and the hardships this injury can bring are many, and severe. Noah did experience many encouraging things as well though, as the Lord was very good to him and we saw many improvements. But sadly, when you are paralyzed like this, you are always in jeopardy of major and very serious physical problems happening and he experienced them. In this situation you can also be at the hands of people who not only do not do as well as they can, or should, but there are those who don't even do what they must for the safety of your life and that is also what happened to Noah.
On February 15th 2002 at about 1:20 am, because a number of people did not do what they were supposed to do, and even had to do, Noah died. Many deadly mistakes were made that night; one of them was made days before by an order that was given to take him off a medicine that he had to have to live. The night he died it was a series of things that person after person did not do right, and it cost Noah his life.
I had been there with him the whole 14 months, taking care of him and working to get him out of the hospital and home. I was trying to get him into a safer environment where he could live a better life, but I couldn't do it.
At the end of it, all I could do was to stand at the end of his bed and watch my son die, not being able to do anything to stop it. I cannot tell you what a hard thing that was to do, it is beyond description. Then, the second hardest thing I have ever done was to have his funeral and bury his body under the ground.
He will remain "Always and Forever Noah"
Noah C. Burgoyne
Hero's are made of people who were willing to put others ahead of themselves and Noah was certainly one of those great people.
This song was sent to me by someone whose life Noah touched in a very special way and at a special time in their life. I told them I would post it in honor of him.
No one who knew Noah ever forgets him and that is as it should be for everyone.