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November 20th, 2008

My 19-Year Old Neighbor Killed

Yesterday morning I got up and began to mentally prepare for a teleseminar with my Psycho-Cyb coaching group.

Before doing so I checked for last minute emails from the office, to see if there is anything pressing I need to cover.

While checking my inbox I saw an email from my next door neighbor, Brian. In the subject line he wrote his son’s name: Harrison Kowiak.

That’s strange, I thought. Wonder what this is.

Then I began read:

Unfortunately, Harrison passed away yesterday at age 19. The cause of death was brain tissue damage due to swelling caused by a ruptured artery. We were initially told that he suffered head trauma from a fall on frozen turf. I am having an autopsy performed to see if it was an  arteral annurism and not head trauma because I’m not sure if  a simple fall would cause so much internal brain damage.

He is an organ donor and they already placed 8 of his organs. He is in the hands of God now.


I began crying my eyes out. Oh no, not Harrison. He was the pride and joy of the neighborhood.

I called my wife. She began to sob. I called Caroll in fulfillment who knows the boy as well. She had the same immediate reaction.

Although I’m in China, I tried to call Brian but the line was busy. I sent him and email. What can I do to help.

Anything. Just tell me.

Harrison was a kid that nobody had anything bad to say. He was someone that was loved by virtually everyone. Always had a smile. Always helpful. A great student. A super athlete. And a truly genuine human being.

A few years ago he was struggling with his golf game. His parents asked me to help him with the mental aspect. I spent time with him, teaching him how to visualize success – and he immediately started to win in competition after competition.

He dropped by my house after winning a big trophy in a regional tournament. He was so proud. He wanted to thank me for the help I gave him. I told him that he is the one who gets the credit. Not me. I only give advice. Anyone can reject good advice – and most do. He didn’t.

Harrison was in his second year of college at North Carolina College. He had a bright, splendid future ahead of him. And now it’s been taken from him.

When I first read Brian’s email I felt there was much more to the story. Tonight I finally spoke to him and he requested that I let out the word that he and his wife are looking for legal counsel on this matter. Word is Harrison’s death is connected to a “hazing” – which is illegal in the state of North Carolina.

According to Brian the initial story they were told has been changed a number of times already.

I told Brian I would do whatever I could to help – and if any of you out there can offer advice on who the family should contact for legal advice, please let me know so I can pass this information along to him.

God bless Harrison.

Matt Furey

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