NJ baby who was dropped on head dies after being taken off life support
SADDLE BROOK — A Carteret couple will be mourning the loss of their infant this Christmas after the boy succumbed to injuries from being accidentally dropped by his babysitter.
The child died Friday afternoon after his parents made the decision to remove him from life support, according to a family friend.
The 3-month-old boy fell out of the arms of a female family friend who was babysitting him around 3 p.m. on Tuesday in a Saddle Brook home, police told NJ.com.
The baby has been identified by family and friends as Reece Modzelewski, the son of Carteret residents Nicole Nicastro, 34, and Mark Modzelewski, 32.
"My little baby boy is dying and there's nothing I can do to help or comfort him, I don't know if he can hear, see, taste or touch anymore," the father wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. "The fact that this is happening so close to Christmas and right between both of our birthdays will only make it more difficult."
Police officers, later joined by EMS, conducted infant CPR and then transported the baby to Hackensack University Medical Center to be placed on life support, NJ.com reported.
Family friend Benjamin Franco said on a GoFundMe page he created Thursday that the parents decided to remove the baby from life support. On Friday, Franco wrote that Reece Modzelewski passed away at 12:03 p.m.
"This is the one of the hardest [decisions] anyone will ever have to make," Franco wrote on the GoFundMe page, which raised more than $16,000 as of Friday afternoon. "The love that Nicole and Mark have for their baby boy will be forever and he will be greatly missed."
Another family friend, Alyssa Cabrera Farese, created a separate GoFundMe page to raise $1,500 to purchase a park bench and have a tree planted in the baby's honor.
Of the planned memorial, Cabrera Farese wrote: "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."
Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler told NJ.com that the incident is being jointly investigated by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.
Police did not immediately return a call for comment Friday afternoon.
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