Brother of Humboldt Broncos rookie gets heartbeat tattoo to show support

Ryan Gobeil's brother Morgan remains in hospital after surviving Friday's fatal bus crash. He, his fiancée and two others got tattoos of Morgan's heartbeat to show their support and carry him with them.

Hospitalized Morgan Gobeil still doesn't know about the tattoo; brother says he can't wait to show him

Mallory Horn (left) didn't hesitate to get a tattoo of her soon to be brother-in-law's heartbeat with her fiance Ryan Gobeil. 'We're all rooting for him,' she said of Morgan Gobeil, who is a rookie with the Humboldt Broncos. (Karen Pauls/CBC)

Ryan Gobeil sat in a hospital room and watched his younger brother's heartbeat. 

He sat and waited with his fiancée, Mallory Horn, and watched Morgan Gobeil breathe.

Ryan's brother is a rookie with the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. The defenceman had been in hospital since Friday's fatal bus crash. 

He had always said he would never get a tattoo. He changed his mind when he realized he wanted to have Morgan with him at all times.

So, along with three other people, he got his brother's heartbeat tattooed on his arm.

When Ryan spoke with CBC on Monday, he said his brother wasn't aware of the heartbeat tattoo. At least not yet.

"I like to think he knows or I like to think he can feel it," he said.

"There is no way for us to know if he does or not. But, you know, it's something that he will know about and I can't wait to show him."
A cross made out of hockey sticks is seen at the intersection of a fatal bus crash near Tisdale, Sask., Monday, April, 9, 2018. A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team crashed into a truck en route to Nipawin for a game Friday night killing 15 and sending over a dozen more to the hospital. (Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ryan works for the Swift Current Broncos and was at a playoff game in Moose Jaw when he heard the news. He hit the road as soon as he found out. 

"We've been here since. It's not an easy time, but we're happy to be here."

The tattoo was an impulse decision. He told his mom they needed a photo of Morgan's heartbeat on the ECG, although he didn't tell her why, and she obliged.  

"I said, 'I just need one, okay?' and mom sent it," he said. "We were going to go do it the next day and I said 'oh, let's just go do it now, then," and we headed off. A few minutes later we were all inked up." 

I like to think he can feel it.- Ryan Gobeil

Ryan took a photo of his brother's two heartbeats inked onto his body and posted it to social media. He said it's gotten more attention than he expected. 

"I thought my Twitter was private until everything kind of blew up." 

Ryan said they can now carry Morgan with them wherever they go.

For him, the massive amount of support that has come to their hometown from around the world has made a world of difference.

"It's hugely helpful. It's obviously a really hard time for everybody, especially down at the hospital," he said.

"And there are families that are not so lucky, that don't get to be at the hospital." 

with files from Karen Pauls