Asa Hill, the 7-year-old boy who was the subject of an intense rescue effort Thursday on the Niagara Thruway, has died.
Officials with Women & Children's Hospital said that Asa died Friday night.
Asa, the grandson of Ujima Theatre's co-founder Lorna Hill, had remained on life-support as a result of catastrophic injuries he suffered in Thursday afternoon's fiery six-vehicle pileup on the Niagara Thruway.
The boy's father, Amilcar Hill, had met with reporters late Friday afternoon, saying family members were "hoping for a miracle" but "planning for reality." The family anticipated donating Asa's organs "to be able to save some other young kids' lives," Hill said. A hospital official today confirmed that Asa's organs were harvested and are expected to be donated to people in need.
The death marks a tragic ending to a story of heroism, rescue and a young boy who, his father said, was "filled with love."
"Your time is based on how much love you are giving out and how much love you are getting in. Well, his time was up at 7, possibly," said Hill, who is 32. "That's how much love he was giving out. That's how much love he was receiving daily."
Hill said he was headed home from work at about 4:45 p.m. when he received the call that his son, brother and father were involved in "a bad car accident." He was advised to head to Women & Children's Hospital and arrived before the ambulance.
"They got here, my son was unconscious, a lot of vomit," Hill said. "He wasn't breathing really on his own. They did some X-rays and established they could take him to do some [CT] scans."
Initially, Asa's condition "did not look too horrible," his father said.
"It looked like there was some possible bleeding inside his skull, and he had some blood on the crown of his head," Hill said.
Doctors were concerned there might be too much pressure inside Asa's head, however, and used a fiber-optic monitor to diagnose the boy.
"The pressure was very high, from what I understand," Hill said.
After the second CT scan, doctors determined Asa's brain had been without oxygen for "too much time," Hill said. The swelling in his brain created pressure inside his skull and resulted in a problem getting blood -- and oxygen -- to his brain.
Hill said his father, Michael E. Hill, 55, of Buffalo, who was driving the car that caught fire after the crash, suffered seven broken ribs and a possible collapsed lung and remains hospitalized in Erie County Medical Center.
Amilcar Hill's younger brother, Tshanolo Hill, 6, was treated in Women & Children's, then released. After a short family debate, Hill said, Tshanolo was allowed to visit Asa by his bed on Friday.
"In my heart, I felt as if it would be wrong to not allow him the opportunity to meet with Asa; they were very, very close. . . . They spent a ton -- a ton -- a ton of time together."
"We're trying to really just make sure that he can come through this understanding that we are not in control of everything as much as we would like to be. We're just not in control."
A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Ave. at West Ferry Street.