What started off as an ordinary day for one Burlington, Iowa family, turned to tragedy in the blink of an eye. All it takes is an instant, to change a life, to change a family, to change the world. Something the Brockways learned the hard way.
The face of an angel, with a smile that could light up a room.
"Garrett was absolutely the perfect child, the apple of our eyes."
10-year-old Garrett Brockway was all boy, into just about anything you can think of. Bruce "Pinewood derbies cub scouts camping we did tae kwon doe together, we were very active together practicing baseball," said Bruce Brockway, Garrett's dad.
Garrett especially loved the St. Louis Cardinals, God, his little sister Adeline, and school. The fourth grader was A straight a student.
"He was a wise young man, he was in for great things."
And he had big plans for the future, Garrett dreamed of growing up and becoming a construction project manager, just like his dad. But he'd never get the chance.
"It's absolutely a parent's worst nightmare to think that would ever happen," said Tiffini Brockway, Garrett's mom.
The Brockways live on a wooded lot in Burlington. Back in February, Garrett was giving his dad a hand outside.
"I had Garrett back plenty far for the work I was doing at the time," said Bruce.
But Bruce had no idea what was about to happen as he removed a dead tree.
"It was such a freak accident, no one could have ever predicted 3 trees falling and reaching your child."
When Bruce got to Garrrett and pulled the tree off of him, he was unconscious.
"I had my forehead to Garrett's forehead and I was begging him to keep breathing. It was traumatic, no doubt about that, no dad wants to hold their son in that position," said Bruce.
Garrett was rushed to the hospital, then airlifted to Iowa City. Mom and dad had hope at first.
"I just thought we're gonna get through this, this is fixable."
but bitter reality would soon set in. Garrett's head injuries were too severe, just days after the accident, he took his last breath.
"when the time came when we knew that we wouldn't be bringing him home alive, the emotions you go through and the pain the physical pain you endure is horrific," said Tiffini.
Pain, almost too much to bear. The Brockways look to their faith to help them cope.
"It helps us get out of bed everyday it would be so easy to just fall apart but with God's strength we can feel it in us," said Bruce.
Strength knowing god took their son for a reason. He had much bigger plans for their little angel.
"He touched a lot of lives in his 10 short years, but the number of lives he's touching through his death is phenomenal," said Tiffini.
Coming up Tuesday night on Ten at 10 we'll show you how the Brockways are using their personal tragedy to help others and how Garrett's death is saving lives through organ donation.
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