MMA Fighter Donates Son’s Organs After Baby Killed By Alleged Drunk Driver

September 7, 2016
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It’s impossible to walk in the shoes of MMA fighter Marcus Kowal and Mishel Eder. When they woke up today they knew they would be saying their good-byes to their son Liam.

Though brain-dead from Saturday’s accident from a suspected drunk driver he’s been on life support. That’s in order to protect his organs for donation.

This was the day the parents would have doctors pull the plug on Liam’s life support machine.

This was a day when they were surrounded by many family members and others. On the 6th floor of Harbor/UCLA Hospital some 30 MMA fighters, law enforcement joined the family to pay their final respects.

The decision was made to unhook him, but then a sudden decision to keep him on it. His son’s brain may have been dead, but his organs were fine and could be donated.

So now, says Kowal, “Up to 8 to 9 children will live because of Liam and that, to me, is amazing.” Also, amazing, is the feeling he’s having knowing Liam will save other children’s “It is an amazing feeling and, as tough as this is… I want to make sure that Liam’s death wasn’t in vain.”

The conversation turned to the accident that ended Liam’s life and Donna Marie Higgins who was booked on suspicion of drunk driving and felony hit and run. 

She bailed out and is free, but, according to police, she may be hit with involuntary manslaughter charges because of the baby’s death. Hawthorne Police say that will be discussed Wednesday with the DA.

Kowal’s feelings about Higgins? “She’s 72. She’s had her life. She’s had the chance to make her decisions. She took that away from us and he never got a chance to make a single decision. I don’t want her to get behind the wheel of a car again, but I really don’t feel anything towards her.”

But, it’s hard to get the horror of the accident out of his mind. He recalls running outside the gym after hearing sirens. He says he had a bad feeling. “I ran out into the street. I saw the stroller lying in the street and then I felt rage… like a wild animal.”

In an effort to turn a terrible negative into something very positive Kowal hopes to create a non-profit foundation. That might be to raise awareness about DUI accidents or help victims of such wrecks. His biggest hope is to convince people not to drink and drive. He says, “If I can stop one person from getting behind the wheel and that would save one life… then the mission that we’re going to be on is helping.”


  1. Alyssia Martinez

    September 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    So awful another child gone over someone who made the wrong descion my condolences to the family stay strong your son is in the life of god may he rest in peace

  2. Megan Kathryn

    September 7, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    This just made me sick to my stomach that he had to make this decision about his baby.

  3. Yolie Romayor

    September 7, 2016 at 11:09 pm

  4. Noreen Connolly-Kahn

    September 7, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Special prayers

  5. Shannon Leigh Johnson

    September 7, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    I just can’t even imagine losing my child .. Can’t even let my mind go there. That rage he mentions.. Oh most definitely understand. My mind wanders sometimes to what I would do in a situation to protect my baby girl, and I would be ruthless. Rip to that sweet baby angel. My heart breaks for his parents.

  6. FV Saefong-Chao

    September 8, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Michael Chao

  7. Victoria Alvarenga

    September 8, 2016 at 12:44 am

  8. Natali Alyssa DeMaggio

    September 8, 2016 at 2:10 am

    It shouldn’t be involuntary man slaughter. It should be murder. If you get behind the wheel drunk knowing about all the risks and deaths it can cause, it’s your fault and you definitely don’t deserve slap on the wrist. Sick of these lame charges when lives are taken due to irresponsibility. You drink, you drive, it’s your fault.

    • Bethany Boyce

      September 9, 2016 at 1:28 am


  9. Kenea Dhillon

    September 8, 2016 at 2:31 am

    That woman should go to jail for atleast a lifetime

  10. milissa sandoval

    September 9, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Rip precious child this really breaks my heart I couldnt imagin this life with out my babies I would loose it if I lost my babies I send my prayes to this family this had to be so devistating

  11. Nora

    September 10, 2016 at 1:17 am

    This is so sad. This story made me cry when I read it. It is so heartbreaking that it is always the innocent lives that are taken and the drunk driver walks away without a scratch. She needs to pay the price for what she has done. A life can never be replaced. I send my condolences to all the Family and friends to this precious baby boy who was taken way to soon. God has gained another Angel. Xoxoxoxo

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