Boy Killed in Mill Accident Will Help Save His Mother

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A 16-year-old boy killed in an accident at a Wisconsin sawmill is helping to save multiple people’s lives – including his mother’s – through organ donation, his family said.

Michael Schuls was attempting to unjam a wood-stacking machine at Florence Hardwoods on June 29 when the conveyor belt he was standing on moved and caused him to become pinned in the machine, according to Florence County Sheriff’s Office reports obtained by The Associated Press. Schuls died in the hospital two days later, officials said.

The teen’s father, Jim Schuls, who also worked at the sawmill, told WBAY this week that his son’s organs are being donated to at least seven other people – including his mother.

“Lucky enough his mom was the perfect match for his liver,” Jim Schuls told WBAY. “And seven or eight other families received life. He delivered the miracle we prayed for seven other families, including his mother. That’s what’s keeping me going.”

Schuls appears to have been doing work allowed by state child labor laws when he was injured, police records obtained Tuesday show.

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His death comes as lawmakers in several states, including Wisconsin, are embracing legislation to loosen child labor laws. States have passed measures to let children work in more hazardous occupations, for more hours on school nights and in expanded roles.

Wisconsin Republicans back a proposal to allow children as young as 14 to serve alcohol in bars and restaurants.

State and federal labor agencies are investigating the accident in northern Wisconsin to determine whether workplace safety or child labor laws were violated.

Most work in sawmills and logging is prohibited for minors, but in Wisconsin, children 16 and older are allowed to work in planing mills like the one Schuls was stacking lumber in when the accident occurred.