Sunday morning we learned the tragic news that the 15-month old baby boy of 3-1-1 professional MMA fighter, owner of Systems Training Center and friend, Marcus Kowal, was hit by a 72-year-old drunk driver Donna Marie Higgins in Hawthorne, California. Baby Liam and his 15-year old aunt who was pushing his stroller were rushed to Harbor UCLA Medical Center. The Hawthorne Police Department reported Marcus’ sister-in-law was in stable condition and Liam was in ICU, fighting for his life. An overwhelming amount of support, prayers and well wishes flooded social media.
On Monday evening Marcus updated friends and family, “I want to thank everyone who has been there for us, in all forms and shapes. Thoughts, prayers, in person – whatever. We’ve received 100s and 100s of txt messages, emails, fb messages, etc – we are blown away. Your support means the world to us. About an hour ago, our baby was declared brain dead. He tried to fight so hard. He even died at one point but they brought him back. He’s a little fighter. His heart is still beating but his brain is no longer working. Our hearts are broken and there’s a void in my soul but we will get through this. Again, your support means the world and I wish we could respond to each and every one of you but right now, we are going work through this. Funeral arrangements will be posted here. Thank you. RIP Liam Mikael Kowal. 5/25/2015 – 9/4/2016”
A GoFundMe campaign was immediately set-up to help alleviate the burden of medical expenses, funeral arrangements, etc. We encourage everyone to help Marcus Kowal and Mishel Eder during their difficult time by giving any amount they can: https://www.gofundme.com/2n9wr2jk
Yesterday morning Marcus wrote, “This isn’t easy to write but Liam is going to donate his organs, so that his little heart can make another child live and another set of parents not have to go through what we have to. We were told that we can donate to someone we know. Therefore, I am writing this post to ask if there is a child out there we know that needs a heart or any other organ. It hurts to write this but Liam loved to share and the person we were going to raise him to be would love to help someone else. So anyone we know, or someone you know, inbox me please.”
This morning Marcus updated all of his friends on FaceBook stating, “Please, I beg of you: for you that have my cell phone number, do not give it out to hopeful strangers that have children in need of organs. Please. We are dealing with enough right now – I cannot take on other people’s pain. I’ve received 100s of messages from hopeful parents and I can’t even continue to write “I’m so sorry, his organs have already been donated.” Let alone, tell a crying mother over the phone. I wish I could do more but I can’t. My baby’s organs have been donated and I beg of you, please, please do not give out my number. Let us mourn in peace.”
For those of you in SoCal, a fundraiser for the Kowal family will be held tomorrow, Wednesday 9/7, at Systems Training Center (13040 Hawthorne Blvd; Hawthorne, CA 90250) from 6PM to 9PM. All classes will be open to the public and Artesia Meat Market will be providing $1 tacos. All proceeds will go to Marcus, Mishel, and Allison in their time of need.
We share our deepest condolences with Marcus, Mishel, their family and friends. The world has lost a kind and beautiful little boy. Rest in peace Liam Mikael Kowal.
*** 9/7/2016 Update: Marcus and Michel addressed the media at their Hawthorne gym; receiving tremendous community support: http://www.mmaheat.com/other/2016-09-07-liam-mikael-kowal-memorial-presser.htm
*** A service for Liam will be held Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:30pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church (4783 W 130th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250)