A 3-year-old boy who died after drowning in a pond behind his family's new home in Cambridge, Minn., has left a lifesaving legacy through organ donation.
Abel Folkestad wandered into a neighborhood pond on April 16 and died five days later at a Minneapolis hospital, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday.
Cambridge Police Chief Todd Schuster said that the boy was with one of his parents in the yard "when he was able to open the gate and wander off. … We just consider it a tragic accident."
A friend who began an online fundraising campaign for the family, Paulette Carroll, said that neighbors joined emergency responders in the search for Abel.
An online update by Carroll said that "Abel will live on in the lives of many" through the organ transplants. The transplants included a heart for a 4-year-old girl, a liver for a 24-year old man, a kidney for a 65-year old woman and a kidney for a 55-year-old man.
The family "had just moved into their new home, which we searched high and low for," said Carroll, who was their real estate agent. "Everything we looked at was based on Abel."
Carroll said Friday that "Abel's parents are beyond devastated with this unimaginable loss of their little boy who was their entire world."
"Unfortunately, this story did not end the way any parent would ever dream but part of Abel will live on in all who God put in his path, including the four precious lives that he saved."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482