NEW LONDON - Funeral services are pending for a New London-Spicer fifth-grade student who died Wednesday after being injured last month in a car accident.
According to the New London family's CaringBridge site, Nathaniel Izak Shumaker, 11, died at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis "surrounded in the prayers and love of family and friends" at the hospital along with "everyone who was here in spirit with him and us."
Nate is the youngest of Tim and Heather Shumaker's four children.
He was critically injured in a two-vehicle accident March 28 when a vehicle driven by his brother, Josh Shumaker, 16, collided with a semi on state Highway 23 near Paynesville.
Josh was also severely injured and was in the hospital for several weeks. He returned home last week and resumed attending classes at NLS, where he is a junior.
Heather Shumaker and another son, Ben, 15, suffered minor injuries in the crash.
Early on, it was clear that Nate's injuries - including trauma to the brain - were life-threatening.
Family, friends and students and staff at NLS rallied around the Shumaker family.
A GoFundMe page surpassed its goal, people signed up to bring meals to the family and Nate's fifth-grade classmates wore orange bracelets and were given the message to "Make every second count because life can change in a second."
In a recent CaringBridge post, Tim Shumaker wrote that the "outpouring of love, prayer, and support we have received from all of our family and friends has been truly heartwarming and overwhelming!"
When it became clear their son would not regain consciousness, the family wrote that they decided to donate Nate's organs "to others that are in need of these life-saving gifts when he does succumb to his injuries."
That happened Wednesday evening.
In a CaringBridge post, Tim Shumaker wrote that Nate was able to donate some organs and other tissues.
"Nate was an incredibly giving young man, and we know he would be and is happy to give some of himself to others."
A "donate life" flag was raised in a special ceremony outside the hospital when Nate died.
In a letter sent to the NLS families, the school said "Nate's spirit, compassion towards others, and his love for science will live on."
The school district has had extra crisis counselors available for staff and students this week and provided online resources (www.nls.k12.mn.us/mssocialworkers) for parents to help their children through the grieving process of losing a classmate.
"The loss of any member of our school community is difficult," said Megan Fields, NLS communications director. "Students are honoring Nate today."
The family requested the continued support of the community. "While we rejoice in the knowledge that Nate is heaven with Jesus, please keep our family in your prayers as we move forward."