Robbery victim’s organs will help six people
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.”