Who can imagine losing a child so unexpectedly, as Mary and Kevin Coubal did in early September when their 11-year-old son Evan died of a head injury after a school playground accident?
Now imagine them turning their thoughts, through such heartache, to others in Evan's honor.
Evan was a sixth-grader at Bay Lane Middle School in Muskego, [Wisconsin] where his mom works as an administrative assistant. He was athletic, a baseball and football player, a boy remembered in loving tributes from hundreds.
When he died, his organs went to others. His liver went to a 7-month-old child. His kidneys and pancreas went to two women, 31 and 49. His lungs went to research. His heart valves were saved for reuse. His corneas restored the sight of two people.
Still the gifts continue in his name. When the Christmas Clearing Council opens its Waukesha-based toy store Saturday so hundreds of needy parents can shop for about 1,000 of their children, some of the credit goes to Evan.
Last Sunday would have been his "golden" birthday - 12 years old on the 12th day of the 12th month. So his parents organized a birthday party at Alpine Lanes in Muskego, complete with pizza and birthday cake and free bowling for anyone bringing a toy for the Christmas Clearing Council.
Mary Coubal said the alley owner began collecting toys for 12 days leading up to the party. Despite a winter storm that blanketed the area Sunday, the event gathered eight large boxes full of toys that will help stock the toy store shelves.
"He'd be amazed," Evan's mother said. Like the rest of us.
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