By Celine Klosterman
BURLINGTON — If Bruce and Tiffini Brockway could choose, they’d take their son, Garrett, back in a heartbeat.
But the parents nonetheless take comfort in believing God used the 10-year-old’s death for a purpose.
The fourth-grader at Notre Dame Elementary passed away at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Feb. 27, three days after a falling tree struck his head at the Brockways’ Burlington home. Since then his organs have helped save the lives of five people. And his family’s faith amid the tragedy has inspired some people to return to church, several Catholics in Burlington said. Because of those two factors, Tiffini said, “We absolutely feel this was part of God’s plan.”
That belief — plus support from family and close friends, Notre Dame, Ss. John & Paul Parish and the broader community — has helped the couple cope following the Feb. 24 accident. After arriving home from Mass that Sunday morning, Bruce headed outside with a mini-excavator to remove a partially fallen tree on the family’s property and threw a few snowballs with Garrett. As the father pulled up on the tree, it hit a second tree, which knocked over a third tree, which struck Garrett’s head.
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