West Seneca Boy's Legacy Featured in Hockey News

WEST SENECA, N.Y.-This month, readers around the world arelearning about 10 year-old Luke Gould of West Seneca. Fittingly,it is in this month's Hockey News, their annual goalie edition.It has been two years since the young goaltender was taken from his friends and family by a rare heart illness.

Sitting in the West Seneca Town Arena where Luke spent so much time, his mother, Amy Skowronski describes her boy. "He was a goalie, he was a soccer player, he was a baseball player, he was an artist."Grandpa Kevin Voit chimes in, "He was my best buddy ever."

Voit and Luke had a special bond. Much of that revolved around hockey and Sabres games. They had a routine when they went to games, find the seats, grab some hot dogs and popcorn and settle in to watch warm-ups, Luke paying close attention to his favorite player, Ryan Miller.

But on November 16, 2011 an unthinkable tragedy struck.

Amy fights back tears as she remembers "I went to get him up for school on the Wednesday morning an he didn't wake up."

Luke had died around 3 o'clock that morning, in his sleep. After having gone to bed the previous night, seemingly fine. Amy's mind is constantly drawn to what he did immediately before going to bed. "The last thing he did was he threw a note down the stairs that said remember mom, I will always love you." Luke had a habit of throwing notes down the stairs to his mom, usually when he was in trouble for something, but this time, for whatever reason, he felt compelled to write that note.

As if losing a child wasn't bad enough, nobody could tell them how or why it happened. "on day 60 after Lukey's passing" Amy recalls "I got a call from the medical examiner's office and they said they were going to close it undetermined."

That response was not good enough for Amy, she went on a crusade for answers. She started with Assemblyman Mickey Kearns and Senator Tim Kennedy. Kennedywas able to get the M-E to take another look. It was ultimately discovered that Luke died of myocarditis, a viral infection that causes inflammation of the heart and can lead to heart failure. Kearns and Kennedy drafted legislation geared at raising awareness of the disease.

Luke's family has made it their mission. They have created a Facebook page to help share information and news and act as a resource for others dealing with similar situations.

Amy told me she believes everyone was put on earth for a reason, and she believes this is Lukey's Legacy."Lukey will no longer be saving goals on the ice, he will be saving lives from above."


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