LUBBOCK, Texas — There are two days that the Siegel family and the Lubbock community will never forget.
On July 28, 2015, 9-year-old Luke Siegel suffered a traumatic brain injury in a golf cart accident. Six years later on Aug. 19, Luke passed away after complications of COVID pneumonia.
“He passed away at 8:39 a.m., one year ago,” said Luke’s father, Tim Siegel.
Tim remembers that day vividly. He was in the hospital struggling to keep himself together.
“The hardest thing for me, that I regret, but I don’t know that I was capable and that’s I was actually not even in the room,” Tim said. “The irony is that I spent six years with him every minute of every day, but I wasn’t there taking his last breath.”
Tim said the one-year anniversary will be tough for his family, but he is comforted knowing how Luke’s legacy helps others going through similar experiences.
For the six years in between Luke’s accident and his passing, Tim dedicated his time to Team Luke Hope for Minds. The nonprofit raises money for TBI research and supports families of those who suffer from brain injuries.
“Despite my pain, my grief, our family’s grief, I get some confidence and peace knowing we’re helping others,” Tim explained.
Over the years, the organization has helped more than 500 families and has no plans of stopping soon. Tim said they’re on track to donate around $1 million to families this year.
“Luke has inspired so many, and I want to make sure that I don’t let people forget,” Siegel said.
He said one way they do that is by remembering Luke’s favorite number, 3.
“You see the number three every day and you don’t think much about it. Now, I want people to think of three words when they see the number three, and that is ‘fight like Luke,’” he explained.
The nonprofit is asking the community to donate $333 for the year, or $27.75 a month, but Team Luke appreciates any donations. To donate or learn more, visit the organization’s website.