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Pediatric Clinic Named In Memory Of Young Patient

Updated: 04/16/2014 7:07 PM
Created: 04/16/2014 7:05 PM KAALtv.com
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It’s part of the lasting legacy of a young buy who died much too soon.

"He loved to see interesting things, be it fish or animals, turtles, whatever," Kurt Potach told us.

It’s a place that exudes life, when hope sometimes seems far away.

"When we were in Saint Marys as we were for literally months, he spent a lot of time watching the fish, reading stories, looking at animal books, and those are the type of memories we have and we thought kids would enjoy those same types of things as Karl did," Kurt Potach said.

When Karl Potach was two years old, he was diagnosed with Wilm's Tumor. it's a rare form of childhood cancer that ...

in 1997 ... eventually claimed his life.

"We got to the point and Karl got to the point where  his trips to the hospital meant going to see his new group of friends, and it was very much a feeling of going home at times actually for him, which we were thankful for that he had that comfort" Karl’s dad Kurt Potach told us.

Now, the pediatric center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin wear's Karl's name.

"We'll find lots of amenities for the children while they're waiting for their appointments," Kurt Potach explained.

"Down the hallway will be photographs of animals in groupings down the clinic hallway. There will be a large aquarium with lots of colorful fish out in the waiting area. A live feed from the Minnesota Zoo on a large-screen TV and also some story boards that tell them about Karl and who he was and his life."

It was an idea spear-headed by the Potach family’s friends and co-workers

“We really view this as something Karl would endorse whole-heartedly because in his stays at the hospital he was always concerned about the other kids and never really too concerned about himself or his situation. Yhis was the perfect opportunity for us to do something in his memory that would lend itself to helping others and giving back," Kurt Potach said.

“It's a very exciting day for us, and I think it will prove to be very emotional as well ... in a good day."