Marcus Kowal is living every parents’ worst nightmare.
The MMA fighter and his partner have confirmed that their 15-month old son was killed on Saturday when the child and his young aunt were struck by a car while crossing the street.
According to The Mercury News, Liam Mikeal Kowal and his 15-year old relative were hit by a vehicle while in a crosswalk.
The tragic incident took place around 4:15 p.m.
The driver, a woman named Donna Marie Higgins, fled the scene… but witnesses actually followed her SUV and surrounded it until authorities arrived, the newspaper reports.
Per a press release issued by the Hawthorne Police Department, Liam’s teenage aunt suffered “from what appeared to be leg injuries,” while the infant was found “pulseless and not breathing.”
Higgins, a 72-year old shoe mugshot is featured below, was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run and drunken driving.
She booked into Hawthorne jail with a $100,000 bail.
“I saw [Liam’s] stroller in two pieces,” Kowal told a local ABC affiliate.
“And he had a little green frog that he’s had with him since day one … and he carries around wherever he is. He won’t sleep without his green frog, and it was lying in the middle of the street.”
Later Saturday evening, Kowal and his partner, Mishel Eder, took to the former’s Facebook page with a heartbreaking update from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
“I want to thank everyone who has been there for us, in all forms and shapes,” it begins.
“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.”
He then continued with the most horrific message any mother or father could ever write.
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.
RIP Liam Mikael Kowal. 5/25/2015-9/4/2016.
Liam was taken off life support later that night.
“I’m a fighter, I can take pain, I’ve taken pain my whole life and nothing hurts as much as this,” Kowal told ABC7. “I was proud to be a dad and I wanted to raise a good child.”
We truly cannot imagine.
Our heart goes out to Marcus Kowal and his family.
Kowal told the station that he and Eder are donating Liam’s organs.
“So his heart can live through another child,” the athlete said. “He loved to share, so I know he would have wanted to share his heart.”
What beautiful words and what a beautiful gesture.