Young Baseball Player Cooper Gardner Dies in Hospital 2 Weeks after Receiving a Head Injury

Bath High School baseball player, Cooper Gardner, who was injured while playing during the game, has reportedly died following his two weeks stay at the hospital.

A GoFundMe page set up for Cooper Gardner following his trauma revealed he got injured on April 21. The fundraiser organizer, Elizabeth Milne, gave followers an update and disclosed that he died unexpectedly recently writing:

“It is with a very heavy heart I am letting everyone know that Cooper expectedly passed away Sunday morning at his home.”

Baseball batter hits the ball | Photo: Shutterstock

Baseball batter hits the ball | Photo: Shutterstock

THE INCIDENT

Gardner collided with the runner while trying to tag him out. Described as a "freak accident," he was knocked unconscious for 40 minutes. Even though he experienced a severe injury, the other player walked off uninjured.

Gardner was transported to the hospital as he sustained a traumatic brain injury along with heart and lung complications. He underwent several scans and tests multiple times to ensure there were no further injuries to his brain.

He remained in the PICU for six days and was moved into a regular room on April 28. Before he died, he would have needed physical, occupational, and speech therapy upon leaving the hospital.

The organizer said the sessions would have assisted in the progression of his recovery, which would have taken six months to a year to achieve.

On behalf of his family, his parents Christy and Kris, and his sister Kalleigh, Milne urged people to donate towards his funeral expenses.

Baseball Pitcher throwing ball | Photo: Shutterstock

Baseball Pitcher throwing ball | Photo: Shutterstock

A GOOD BOY

A Junior Varsity Coach, Michael Collins, shared Gardner was an intelligent young boy who used to smile a lot. "If you had a bad day, you could go to practice and see his smiling face, and all is right in the world," said Collins.

He added that Gardner had a bright future ahead of him and described him as a good student and a humble child who died at a very young age.

Baseball in a glove in the outfield | Photo: Shutterstock

Baseball in a glove in the outfield | Photo: Shutterstock

COACH COLLINS

Speaking on the incident, Collins said he never witnessed something like that before. He explained that one always reads about something going wrong, “but you never think it’s going to be one of your kids.”

When Gardner was released from the hospital, Collins said his teammates and friends started sending him messages and that parents and coaches began a meal train for the family.

A baseball stadium under roof view with fans | Photo: Shutterstock

A baseball stadium under roof view with fans | Photo: Shutterstock

SPORTS RELATED DEATHS

The junior’s death is the first connected to a Michigan school baseball game since 1989 when they tracked sports-related deaths. Gardner's teammates, family, and friends came together on Monday at the baseball field.

Another sport hopeful, Cody Lyster, died in April 2020 after contracting COVID-19. The 21-year-old was a college baseball player and was the youngest person in Colorado to die of the virus.

One other baseball player from the minor league, Chace Numata, died in 2019 following a skateboarding accident. He was 27 years old.

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