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Logan Boulet's #HumboldtStrong heart beats on, like his legacy

5 27 359

LETHBRIDGE — There is an odd symmetry to Logan Boulet’s gravestone placement. It’s not only a result of the picture of his smiling face carved into the shiny black granite or even the breathtaking view of the Lethbridge coulee visible from this peaceful spot at Mountain View Cemetery.

Rather, in the row right in front of Boulet’s stone is the marker of Richard (Sluggo) Suggit — a boisterous rugby coach who decided to donate his organs, before he died suddenly at the age of 58 on June 27, 2017. His action influenced Boulet, a young hockey defenceman, so profoundly that he decided at the age of 19 to sign his organ donor card as soon as he turned 21, on March 2, 2018.

The pair became close after Suggit, who coached the women’s rugby team at the University of Lethbridge, volunteered to train Logan and three of his friends in the off-season of junior hockey, perhaps as a way to thank Logan’s dad, Toby Boulet, for being the volunteer manager of his team.

Logan was a pallbearer at his beloved trainer’s funeral and took his many lessons to heart — not least of which was the decision to donate that strong, generous heart of his, along with other organs, upon his death. Suggit’s organs were all in great shape, as he died from a brain aneurysm. His actions led to Logan’s decision to also become an organ donor.

As fate would have it, Logan was one of 16 people who died after the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus collided with a tractor-trailer that ran a stop sign as the team travelled to a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game in Nipawin on April 6, 2018. The remorseful Calgary driver of the truck, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 30, pleaded guilty to 29 charges of dangerous driving causing injury and death and was sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday.

Logan’s generosity resulted in a spontaneous movement dubbed “The Logan Boulet Effect” — a huge spike in people signing up to be organ donors. According to Alberta Health, during the month of April 2018 there were 28,855 Albertans who registered to become a donor — an almost three-fold increase from the usual 10,000 who sign up monthly.

As the first anniversary of the crash approaches, Toby and Bernadine Boulet make themselves available to talk about their devastating loss, recognizing that much can be gained for Logan’s lasting legacy — organ donor awareness. Indeed, Logan’s story even made the cover of Sports Illustrated this month and the Boulets frequently promote organ donation at events across the country.

During a recent visit to their son’s grave, they lovingly rearrange flowers and mini hockey sticks that surround it and then point out that even though Suggit died almost one year earlier than Logan, his gravestone was placed quite a bit later. By coincidence, its placement was directly in front of Logan’s last earthly resting place.

Logan Boulet’s parents Bernadine and Toby stand at their son’s grave in Lethbridge on Wednesday March 13, 2019. Logan’s fitness........

© Calgary Herald