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6-year-old New Jersey girl dies in accident involving badminton racquet while on vacation

In World
June 08, 2024

A 6-year-old girl died this week after succumbing to head trauma caused when the errant shaft of a badminton racquet struck her during a family vacation in Maine, police said.

The girl, identified as Lucy Morgan of Stockholm, New Jersey, died Wednesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland following the noontime accident on June 1 in Limerick, about 30 miles west of Portland, Maine State Police said.

The siblings were playing badminton in the front yard of a lake cottage in Limerick when she was struck, according to police and her father’s accounts.

maine badminton death accident (Green Pond Bible Chapel via Facebook)

maine badminton death accident (Green Pond Bible Chapel via Facebook)

The father, Jesse Morgan, is pastor of worship and discipleship at Green Pond Bible Chapel in Newfoundland, New Jersey. He wrote about what happened to Lucy in a blog affiliated with the nondenominational institution.

He said the family had finished lunch, and he was in back of the cottage with his wife, when they heard screaming in front.

“Due to a freak accident with a racquet that broke on a downward swing, a sharp piece had entered Lucy’s skull while she was sitting on the sideline and caused catastrophic injury,” he wrote. “She was still breathing but unresponsive as I held her with [her mother] Bethany crying out to God.”

State police said the “aluminum shaft of a badminton racquet had become dislodged from the wooden handle, causing the shaft to strike the girl in the head, piercing through her skull.”

Lucy was taken to MaineHealth Maine Medical Center in Sanford before being moved by helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland, they said.

Jesse Morgan wrote that Lucy suffered hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy, oxygen-depriving brain damage that can be caused by traumatic injury. By Wednesday, he said, it seemed clear she wasn’t coming back.

“Given the initial trauma that brought about the global hypoxic brain injury she endured with the severity of the swelling, it was almost certain that she had endured brain death,” Morgan wrote.

She was declared dead that morning, he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Maine’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy or planned one. Spokespeople there were working on a response to a request for information.

Morgan wrote about how Lucy’s death deeply affected her mother and their three other children, a 4-year-old boy, an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.

“Shiloh broke down immediately,” the pastor wrote of the 8-year-old. “She and Lucy are best friends being the middle girls.”

The “calamity” tried his faith, Morgan wrote.

“We were ready to go to war with all of you by raging against the darkness,” he said.

An outpouring of support, including visits from relatives and other church leaders and congregants, gifts of food and flowers, as well as expressions of support sent by some of the tens of thousands of people who read the pastor’s accounts, were reminders of God’s benevolence, the pastor wrote.

“Like gold at the bottom of a deep dark well, there was and is evidence of God’s grace in this utter tragedy, we just had to be willing to plumb the depths to see it,” he said.

Green Pond Bible Chapel will hold a funeral service for Lucy on June 15.

“My desire is for her story to be one of hope,” Morgan told NBC News on Friday. “Even though the worst has happened, it has helped others.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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