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2018-09-30 18:14
September 3, 2016 is a tragic day that Marcus Kowal and Mishel Eder will remember forever. It was the day they lost their son Liam. On that day, Eder's sister was taking 15-month-old Liam for a stroll. Her sister was crossing the street with Liam in a stroller. She crossed the first lane, then the second, but when she got to the third lane, the unthinkable happened. A drunk driver struck Eder’s sister and Liam, and then sped off. Liam’s aunt suffered a broken leg, but his condition was much more severe. His heart had stopped beating and he wasn’t breathing. The police performed CPR, and Liam started breathing again. However, after 12 hours of tests, two doctors informed Kowal and Eder that Liam was brain dead. The devastated couple then made the decision to donate his organs. While the couple was in the hospital, they were determined to make something good come from the tragic loss of their son. Nevertheless, handling this was difficult for the family, and they both did it in their own ways. Four days after Liam’s passing, Kowal began writing as a way to contend with his emotions. For Eder, exercise was crucial to deal with such a difficult time. Kowal and Eder would also meditate in order to escape their pain, even if it was only a brief reprieve. Having the support of their family and friends—and each other—also greatly helped the couple contend with such a heartbreaking loss. Over time, Kowal and Eder have begun to tolerate their grief. “The pain will always be there. Certain days are worse than others. You learn how to live with it,” Kowal said. A chance for more happy moments came when Kowal and Eder had their second child Nico on July 26, 2017—a blessing during a period of severe grief. They want to make sure that Nico grows up knowing that he’s just as important to them as Liam was. The day after Liam’s funeral, Kowal and Eder started Liam’s Life Foundation. The nonprofit organization honors the baby’s memory by working to end drinking and driving. “My main mission is still Liam. I hope people feel the love that I have for him by trying to save them." "His life is more than just the 15 months that he was here. So that fire that we have is what keeps us going,” Eder said.