April 10, 2018 7:47 pm
Updated: April 11, 2018 1:38 am

The ‘Logan Boulet effect’: Humboldt Broncos player’s family feels pride, heartbreak in wake of tragic death

WATCH: Logan Boulet's father Toby explains the story behind Logan's organ donation that spurred an outpouring of support from Canadians after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

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As Toby, Bernadine and Mariko Boulet work through the emotions of losing their son and brother Logan in Friday’s devastating bus crash, the family is heartened by the fact that his death has been an inspiration across the country.

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“When they told us… what Logan’s condition was at that time, we just… knew that something good could come and someone’s life could go on when our son’s couldn’t,” Logan’s mother Bernadine said Tuesday from their family home in Lethbridge while wearing one of her son’s jerseys. Her husband and daughter were by her side in their Broncos gear.

Logan was one of 15 people killed on a Saskatchewan highway last week when the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team collided with a semi-truck. Fourteen others were injured.

Just after the collision, the 21-year-old defenceman was put on life support in hospital. But overnight Saturday, he was taken off life-support and his organs donated to science, as well as six people in need.

READ MORE: Humboldt Broncos player Logan Boulet taken off life support, organs donated

Logan had just signed his donor card a short time before he died when he turned 21, the family told Global News.

Logan’s father, Toby, said the way he and his wife raised their children speaks to why their son signed up to be a donor. He said they were raised to have good values — like helping those in need, always shaking hands, taking the high road and to, “Work hard. Play hard. Have fun.”

“Logan was raised … that good things come to those that work hard,” Toby said.

WATCH: Logan Boulet’s father Toby explains who his son was and how he was raised in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

‘It’s called the Logan Boulet effect’

The donation of Logan’s organs has not only given those grieving hope; it also spurred a spike in the number of Canadians signing up to be organ donors themselves.

British Columbia has seen a six-fold increase in the number of potential donors signing up.

LISTEN: The “Logan Boulet Effect”- an acute spike in organ donor registration inspired by the late Humboldt Broncos defenseman 

Apparently, the increase has garnered its own name in honour of the hockey player.

“It’s called the Logan Boulet effect… we just found that out as we came home today,” Toby said.

READ MORE: The Humboldt crash serves as a reminder that Canada needs organ donors

“And to have it called the Logan Boulet effect on the increase of people registering for donor, organ donor, transplant donors… is… it makes your heart warm.

“But we didn’t want Logan to be the Logan Boulet effect… we have to remember that we didn’t want this to happen.”

WATCH: Logan Boulet’s mother Bernadine says the fact Logan’s organ donation has spurred others to sign donor cards is “overwhelming.”

Toby went on to say the family has received messages from people across Canada and North America from others who have donated their child’s organs and other recipients. He said going through the messages has been therapeutic.

“It’s overwhelming and it just seemed, for our family and because we were able to, that… it was just something we should do,” Bernadine added.

“We have a son who has all these organs and we didn’t really know that the ripple effect would happen, and how incredibly awesome that is and how many people will benefit from that.

“That’s probably the biggest positive that can come out of this is that… there’s gonna be a lot of people who are going to carry on lives and be healthy.”

WATCH: The parents of Logan Boulet, the Lethbridge hockey player killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, said he was always a giver and that made donating his organs easier. Su-Ling Goh reports.

‘He loved the Broncos’

According to Toby, his son was “living his dream” every time he suited up, got on the team bus or hit the ice to play as part of the Humboldt Broncos team.

“This photograph is my favourite photograph because he’s smiling,” Toby said pointing to a photo of his son on the ice in his gear, stick in hand.

Logan Boulet is seen in his Humbold Broncos hockey gear in a photograph in his family home.

File / Global News

“The smile you read about in the paper and on Twitter is on that face, not because we told him to smile, but because he’s in warm-ups and he is happy to be a Humboldt Bronco and living his dream.

“He loved the Broncos, he loved what the Broncos did for him, he loved the city of Humboldt, he loved the people there, he loved everything.”

WATCH: Logan Boulet’s family explains cleaning out Logan’s locker and what they found.

Both Toby and Bernadine said the city of Humboldt “really embraced” their son and the other players and their families. They thanked the hockey community for support as they grieve.

“Our hearts are very heavy and we weep for the other 28 families, because we know that there are still players that are critically injured are waiting — and those families are in the hospital waiting,” Toby said.

WATCH: Logan Boulet’s mother Bernadine explains the decision to donate Logan’s organs in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

“There [are] funerals all over Alberta and Saskatchewan in the next week for a whole bunch of awesome kids and coaches and people who were part of the Humboldt Broncos,” Bernadine said.

“And our hearts are broken and we just wish everybody the best and this will forever bond all of us and keep us as a family of the Humboldt Broncos. And we will be Humboldt Broncos strong.”

READ MORE: ‘People ask why’: How survivors’ guilt may affect the remaining Humboldt team

Bernadine said eventually, those who received Logan’s organs will be able to contact them by sending a letter through the university, and if they wish, the Boulet family can send an anonymous letter back.

“The Boulet family’s been called heroes,” Toby said, “‘You’ve raised a good young man.’ And we know, we agree, we knew that before the tragic accident… and we thank people that have said that about our family.”

WATCH: Bernadine Boulet explains the impact the Humboldt Broncos have had on Logan and his family in the wake of a tragic bus crash.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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