A little over a year after losing their 15-month-old son who was killed by a drunk driver, MMA fighter Marcus Kowal and his partner are doing great work to honor him and recently welcomed a new baby.
Little Liam Kowal and his 15-year-old aunt were within the boundaries of a crosswalk in Hawthorne, California, when Donna Marie Higgins, 72, drunkenly drove into them before fleeing the scene in September 2016.
The teen survived the horrific incident, but 15-month-old Liam died after being declared brain dead. Marcus and his girlfriend, Mishel Eder, donated his organs to help save other lives.
During an appearance on The Doctors that is set to air on Friday, the couple brought along their newest blessing – three-month-old Nico.
A little over a year after losing their 15-month-old son Liam (pictured right) in a drunk driving accident, MMA fighter Marcus Kowal and his partner, Mishel Eder (together left), recently welcomed a new baby.
Little Liam Kowal and his 15-year-old aunt were hit by a car being driven drunkenly by Donna Marie Higgins, 72, in September 2016. Liam (above with his father) died from his injuries but his aunt survived
The couple (above 2nd right and right) is now working to raise awareness about the dangers associated with drunk driving and discussed that along with their newest blessing – three-month-old Nico during an appearance on The Doctors
Marcus, who is originally from Sweden, explained that his name means, ‘the people’s victory.’
He said: ‘We felt like we had a small country behind us (during this tragedy) and we felt like it wasn’t just our victory, but the people’s victory, and that’s why we decided on the name Nico.’
In discussing Liam’s name, Marcus said they chose it because it means ‘the people’s protector’.
He said: ‘When we named him, this was not the way we had hoped he would be a protector, but he has already saved lives directly by donating his organs, and also just from the people that have reached out to us around the world pledging never to drink and drive again…we know that his 15 months on the planet have helped save tons of lives.’
Donna Marie Higgins (left), 72, found guilty and is serving six years in prison for manslaughter related to Liam’s death. Marcus (right) said that Liam’s name means ‘the people’s protector’
The couple also discussed the non-profit foundation, Liam’s Life, that they created to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving as well as the two e-books they’ve written.
As for the driver that killed their son, Marcus said she never apologized for her actions and still has not reached out to them.
Higgins is currently serving six years behind bars for the deadly crime.
Days after the horrific accident, Marcus and his girlfriend held a press conference where they discussed their heartbreak over losing Liam.
‘He was the happiest baby and to have him ripped away from us is so cruel,’ the emotional mother said at the time.
Of Nico’s name, Marcus said it means ‘the people’s victory.’ He said: ‘We felt like we had a small country behind us (during this tragedy) and we felt like it wasn’t just our victory, but the people’s victory, and that’s why we decided on the name Nico.’
‘Speaking here today is the hardest thing for me to do but I need to do it for my baby, so other babies are safe.’
‘Please don’t drink and drive, ever.’
Marcus has called the US’s legal 0.8 alcohol limit ‘absolutely ridiculous’ and has pleaded for a zero tolerance policy on drinking and driving.
He has over five fights on his record according to Sherdog.com, scoring three wins and a draw since 2009.
Marcus also works as the CEO of Systems Training Center Encino.
Tune in on Friday to The Doctors to watch the whole story, check local listings at www.thedoctorstv.com.