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6-year-old girl dies after bizarre accident with badminton racket

A New Jersey family is mourning the loss of a girl who died in a bizarre accident just over a week ago while family members were playing badminton.

The girl, 6-year-old Lucy Morgan, is from Stockholm, New Jersey. She was vacationing in Limerick, Maine, about 33 miles west of Portland.

According to a press release from the Maine State Police and the family, the girl's family members were playing badminton on the afternoon of June 1 when the aluminum shaft of the badminton racket broke off the wooden handle and struck her in the head, piercing her skull.

Limerick Fire and EMS arrived and notified the Maine State Police Southern Field Troop, the MSP news release said. She was taken to a hospital and then flown to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she died four days later.

Authorities said her death was an accident.

“The Maine State Police would like to extend their deepest condolences to the Morgan family,” the police wrote in the press release.

Lucy's father says they “prayed for a miracle”

Jesse Morgan, Lucy's father, is the worship and discipleship pastor at Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway Township, according to the North Jersey Record, part of the USA TODAY network.

After his daughter's accident, he posted news on his website newcreationliving.com.

The incident occurred on the family's last full day of vacation in Maine, her father wrote.

“We were eating a quick lunch by the lake and the kids decided to try badminton in the front yard,” he wrote. “Bethany and I were relaxing in the back when we heard screaming.”

Badminton is a racquet sport in which two to four players hit a shuttlecock over a net. The shuttlecock is shaped like a cone, according to Racquet Point, and is made of overlapping feathers attached to a round cork base. The game is usually played indoors with one or two players on each side.

He added that Lucy was sitting on the side of the road when the incident occurred. The girl was still breathing at first but was unresponsive, he said.

After she was taken to the hospital, doctors removed part of her skull to relieve pressure, her father wrote. They were told the chance of recovery was “very slim.” She was intubated and had no brain function, he said.

“We are praying for a miracle, but our hearts ache with incredible pain,” he wrote at the time. “I have so many scattered thoughts and memories.”

The girl was “Miss Independent”, but also a cuddle artist

On the website, the father described Lucy as “Miss Independent” and said his daughter was curious about God and had a strong faith. The girl had recently “prayed to God to forgive her and she believes in Jesus' death and resurrection,” her father wrote.

“What a gift,” he added.

He said his daughter recently sang “He Will Hold Me Fast,” a song she loved. Her family sang the song while resting in her hospital room. Her father told the Record it was one of the “most beautiful, sacred things I've ever been a part of.”

Her family also said she was a cuddler and a great older sister. She was her mother's mini-me, the Record reported.

A prayer diary and GoFundMe

On the family's drive back to New Jersey, her father often glanced in the rearview mirror, hoping to see Lucy snacking as usual, the Record reported.

When they got home, they cried and thought about Lucy. Later, they opened her backpack and found her prayer journal in which she had written how much she loved God and Jesus.

Family members have started a GoFundMe campaign to support the Morgans. To donate, visit www.tinyurl.com/LucyMorgan.

Lucy's memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Green Pond Bible Chapel, her father said.

“We have received so much comfort and support from loved ones and from random people who have shared their love with us,” he wrote online. “We never asked for this tremendous trial, but the stories of other children finding Christ, neighbors sharing the gospel, and shared grief help us to continue to walk in faith in this deep pain. God bless you on your journey. He will hold you tight.”

The service can also be viewed by social media users at greenpondbible.org/livestream.

Contributor: Lori Comstock, North Jersey Record

Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY's NOW team from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757th. Follow her on Twitter at @SaleenMartin or email her at sdmartin@usatoday.com.

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