Pastor’s 6-year-old daughter killed in badminton accident on family vacation

Lucy Morgan
Lucy Morgan | New Creation Living blog/Pastor Jesse Morgan

A New Jersey pastor’s family vacation to Maine ended in tragedy when an accident involving a badminton racquet resulted in the death of their 6-year-old daughter, Lucy Morgan. The incident involved the young girl being fatally struck by a dislodged piece of the racquet while she was not actively playing.

Lucy, the daughter of Jesse Morgan, a pastor at Green Pond Bible Chapel in Newfoundland, New Jersey, was part of a family getaway at a lakeside rental cottage in Limerick, Maine. The accident happened during what was supposed to be a relaxing family moment by the lake, the New York Post reported.

The family had just finished lunch, and while Lucy was sitting on the sideline, a badminton match among her siblings led to a racquet breaking on a downward swing. The aluminum shaft of the racquet separated from its wooden handle and struck Lucy, penetrating her skull.

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Despite immediate medical attention and efforts to save her at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Lucy succumbed to her injuries early Wednesday morning.

She had suffered severe brain damage, specifically hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy, a condition that deprives the brain of oxygen, as explained by her father in a heart-wrenching blogpost. Despite a successful surgical attempt to relieve pressure on her brain, Lucy lost all brain function and the ability to breathe independently.

He described the devastating impact on Lucy’s siblings — Silas, 10, Shiloh, 8, and Atticus, 4 — who are struggling with guilt and grief. The family’s ordeal continued as they returned to New Jersey, facing the reality of driving home without Lucy, as her father poignantly noted the absence of her usual seat, filled with chicken nuggets.

Maine State Police noted that the injury was unintentional and occurred while the siblings were playing. The specifics of the injury were such that the shaft struck her head with enough force to cause immediate and severe damage.

Lucy’s funeral is scheduled for June 15 at Green Pond Bible Chapel, where her father serves. The tragic event, as her father hopes, aims to serve as a reminder of hope and community support in the face of devastating loss.

In another blogpost, Pastor Morgan 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. Having even MORE people following the story, commenting, praying and crying with us can never be understated.”

He added: “There are countless other experiences of God’s grace: seemingly endless Chick-fil-A, my kids drawing even closer to their aunts and uncles and grandparents and pastors, hospital staff connecting with us relationally and hearing the gospel (by my 4 year old mostly), the beautiful and incredibly painful opportunity they gave us to lay with her for hours as she passed, a recording by a sweet little girl in Lucy’s class at church singing “He Will Hold Me Fast,” a very good friend coming at the 11th hour to bless us deeply and pray … but where we really needed God’s grace was in going back home.”

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