“I never would have thought it would lead to this,” junior varsity coach Michael Collins said of Cooper Gardner's death

By Jason Duaine Hahn
May 04, 2021 02:59 PM
Advertisement
Cooper Gardner
Credit: GoFundMe

A high school baseball player from Michigan has died nearly two weeks after being knocked unconscious during a game.

Cooper Gardner of Bath High School died at his home on Sunday after he experienced a traumatic brain injury during a game against St. Patrick Catholic School last month, according to a GoFundMe set up for his family. The death was "unexpected," an update the GoFundMe said.

On April 21, Gardner collided with a runner while trying to tag him out, rendering him unconscious for 40 minutes.

After he was taken to a local emergency room, doctors discovered he had suffered injuries to his brain and was experiencing other heart and lung complications, according to the donation page.

While his injuries were serious, there was hope the teenager could recover with physical, occupational, and speech therapy over the course of six months to a year.

"If you had a bad day, you could go to practice and see his smiling face and all is right in the world," Junior Varsity Coach Michael Collins told the Lansing State Journal of Gardner.

"As smart as can be, had everything in front of him. Good student, humble kid," he added. "He was just too young."

According to the newspaper, it's believed Gardner was hit in the head with the knee of the runner, who then fell on him.

Funds generated from the GoFundMe campaign for Gardner's medical costs will now be diverted to paying for his funeral expenses, an update posted on Monday reads. The campaign has raised nearly $28,000 as of Tuesday morning.

RELATED VIDEO: Hank Aaron, Hall of Famer and Baseball Legend, Dies at 86

"I never would have thought it would lead to this," Collins told the Lansing State Journal of Gardner's death.

"I've never witnessed something like that," he continued. "You just always read about things going wrong, but you never think it's going to be one of your kids."