Rob­bery vic­tim’s or­gans will help six peo­ple

Regina Leader-Post - - CITY + REGION - THIA JAMES tjames@postmedia.com twit­ter.com/thi­a­james

In the days since Si­mon Grant’s death, his fam­ily has found com­fort in know­ing six lives were saved when his or­gans were do­nated.

The 64-year-old La Ronge restau­ra­teur suc­cumbed to in­juries he sus­tained dur­ing an armed rob­bery at his restau­rant, Louisiana’s Bar-B-Que, on the week­end. His fam­ily made the de­ci­sion to donate his or­gans: lungs, liver, kid­neys, and pan­creas islets.

His widow, Cora Laich, called it a “high­light” in the tragedy.

“It makes me so happy. It will help my daugh­ter and I in the fu­ture, know­ing he re­ally will live on in peo­ple,” she said through tears.

Grant was the def­i­ni­tion of liv­ing life to the fullest, Laich said.

“He re­ally did ev­ery day, get up in the morn­ing, and his in­ten­tion was to make the best of ev­ery minute of ev­ery day. That’s why peo­ple saw so much en­ergy in him. He was ex­cited about life ev­ery day. He helped ev­ery­body on his path.”

In win­ter, Grant would use the hoist on his truck to help friends stranded in the snow, even at 3 a.m. He also helped peo­ple he knew find jobs in their trade or that matched their tal­ents, Laich said.

The cou­ple met in 1998, when she worked as a restau­rant man­ager in Cal­gary. They later moved to Regina and opened a Sub­way fran­chise. When a Sub­way lo­ca­tion came up for sale in La Ronge in 2013, they drove up to look at it, and he loved the town.

Grant said La Ronge was the most beau­ti­ful place in the world and he wanted to live there, Laich said.

They opened Louisiana’s Bar-BQue in 2014.

The hard­est thing for Laich now is to think of the trauma he went through that night, she said. It was af­ter mid­night on April 16 when three peo­ple, all be­lieved to be men, en­tered his busi­ness armed with weapons and at­tacked Grant. La Ronge RCMP re­leased sus­pect de­scrip­tions and still images from a surveil­lance cam­era.

Grant was taken to the hospi­tal in La Ronge, then air­lifted to Royal Univer­sity Hospi­tal in Saska­toon. When his fam­ily ar­rived there, doc­tors didn’t give them much hope he would re­cover.

“And it was re­ally hard to ac­cept,” she said. “And then af­ter 12 or 18 hours, look­ing at the CT scans, and re­al­iz­ing that no­body could have sur­vived, it wasn’t even a ques­tion.”

Al­though Grant didn’t sign a donor card, he told his wife on many oc­ca­sions he liked the idea of do­nat­ing his body, even for re­search. He was par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in cornea trans­plants, she said.

“That was just who he was as a per­son. If he could help some­body else, I think he’d think that was the ul­ti­mate gift he could give any­body, a chance at life. There was no ques­tion.”

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