One family is mourning the loss of their three-month-old baby boy after his babysitter reportedly dropped him on his head.
According to NJ.com, parents Mark Modzelewski and Nicole Nicastro left their son Reece Modzelewski with a family member on Tuesday. At approximately 3 p.m. that same day, the babysitter reportedly dropped baby Reece, who landed on his head.
Township Police Chief Robert Kugler said when they arrived at the home, Reece was unconscious and unresponsive. He added that the babysitter “told officers the baby accidentally fell from her arms and hit the floor with his head.” After the emergency medical professionals unsuccessfully performed CPR, Reece was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center and placed on life support. On Friday, just two days before Christmas, Mark and Nicole made the heartbreaking decision to remove their only child from the machines that were keeping him alive- he died minutes later.
Baby boy dies after being taken off life support by his devastated parents two days before Christmas https://t.co/QcB30B7m4j
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 25, 2016
Mark later took to Facebook to thank their friends and family members for their kind words. He described that day as “the worst day of my life,” and said there is “nothing I want back more than him.”
“Everyone has been very wonderful with their kind words and generosity,” Mark wrote in the Facebook post. “If anything, it all is a distraction to the nightmare that is slowly approaching later today. A lot of people have had children in the past few months and I was kinda hoping that Reece would be able to meet them, play with them and go to school with some of them over the upcoming years but that won’t be possible anymore.”
He continued, “A second of misfortune will turn into a lifetime of pain as is the case with most tragedies. The fact that this happening so close to Christmas and right between both of our birthdays will only make it more difficult. A lot of people asked me what they can do to help and I told them to give their kids a hug and kiss. I didn’t want Reece in the beginning and now there’s nothing I want back more than him. Today will be the worst day of my life.”
Infant near death after being dropped by babysitter: Reece Modzelewski suffered a head injury while in a… https://t.co/d2b6fgXhKb
— Bergen County News (@BergenCtyNews) December 24, 2016
Benjamin DiFranco, a friend of the family, created a GoFundMe page to help with the funeral expenses.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that Reece, the 3-month-old son of Nicole and Mark, will succumb to his injuries,” DiFranco wrote on the fundraising site. “No parent should ever have to get that devastating call saying their son is not breathing. Reece will be taken off oxygen and he will likely pass this week.”
“The love that Nicole and Mark have for their baby boy will be forever and he will be greatly missed. We are asking for donations to help Nicole and Mark with expenses as they go through the grieving process.”
Benjamin set a goal to raise $40,000 for the grieving parents. So far, the page has raised $23,100 in just two days.
Alissa Cabrera Farese also set up a GoFundMe page to help create a permanent memorial for Reece in a nearby park. $1,730 of the $2,500 goal has been raised so far.
“We are working in conjunction with the local municipal authorities there in order to purchase a bench at Chrome Park or Carteret Waterfront Park, as well as to have a tree planted at Chrome Park or Carteret Waterfront Park, both in Reece’s honor,” Farese explained. “It is our hope that as the years pass and the seasons change, during which Reece’s Tree will grow, bloom, and provide shade and shelter, while forever remaining a symbol of the gift of life…Reece’s life.”
The identity of the babysitter has not been released. Reece’s death is being investigated by the Saddle Brook Police and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
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