By Juli McDonald


WESTFORD (CBS) – There’s been a tremendous outpouring in the community of Westford for a beloved educator who was badly hurt in freak accident this weekend.

Lori O’Donnell told WBZ-TV her brother Kevin LaCoste was playing with his kids in the yard of their new home when he fell from a tree. “You see these stories on the news. You think it’s never going to be you. In one split second, one thing you do can change the rest of your life,” she said.

The husband and father suffered a spinal cord injury and was flown by medical helicopter to Mass General. He has not regained feeling below his shoulders.

“He was just trying to be fun and make them laugh and be silly. It was really truly a freak accident. We don’t know what his limitations will be at this point. Still 50/50. Unknown,” O’Donnell explained.

Westford parents describe LaCoste as the “perfect principal” of the Robinson School. He is fun and kind and dedicated to helping kids learn. His sister remembers he always felt education was his true calling.

Kevin LaCoste (Family Photo)

“He met a young child with Down syndrome and had a close relationship with him and that’s what guided him into education. There isn’t a person or family I meet that Kevin hasn’t impacted their son or daughter in some way,” his sister said.

So much of Kevin LaCoste’s life has been about others. He ran the Boston Marathon in support of his colleague Scott Middlemiss’ foundation, the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation. Middlemiss lost his six-year-old to complications from cardiomyopathy.

Now winking and smiling from his hospital bed, Kevin LaCoste is the one in need of support and prayers.

“His eyes say a lot. We know he’s in there. When he comes out of it a little bit he lets us know. That gives us a lot of hope and keeps us positive,” O’Donnell said.

LaCoste is scheduled for surgery Thursday and will hopefully be well enough to begin rehab soon after. Donations for the LaCostes as Kevin begins his recovery can be made on the family’s GoFundMe page.

Juli McDonald

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