Fifteen-month-old Liam Kowal was being pushed in his stroller by his 15-year-old aunt on Saturday in Hawthorne, California, when they were hit by a car driven by a 72-year-old woman police say was drunk. Liam, the son of MMA fighter Marcus Kowal, died Sunday.
His aunt suffered leg injuries and was hospitalized in stable condition.
The car that struck the two left the scene, but a witness followed and was able to block the car until police arrived.
said the driver was charged with felony hit and run and felony drunk driving.
The injuries Liam suffered were too much for his little body to recover from, and on Sunday, he was declared brain dead, his father said.
"He tried to fight so hard. He even died at one point but they brought him back," Kowal posted on Facebook.
"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."
Kowal is a mixed martial arts fighter in Southern California and made his MMA debut in 2009. He owns a training facility, Systems Training Center, where he is an instructor. Liam was known to frequent the gym with his father.
Kowal and Mishel Eder, Liam's mother, made the heartbreaking decision to pull their son off life support on Sunday and donate his organs.
"This isn't easy to write but Liam is going to donate his organs, so that his little heart can make another child live and another set of parents not have to go through what we have to," Kowal posted on Facebook.
The family set up a GoFundMe account
to raise money for a memorial fund in Liam's name. As of Tuesday evening, the account had reached its goal of $100,000 and was still growing.
"Our family will never be the same. But Liam will live on. When you're feeling sad please think of his smile," Eder said on the GoFundMe account.