January 25

Saco boy, 10, succumbs to injuries from zip-line accident

Matthew Cox had remained comatose since December at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he died peacefully Friday with his family beside him.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A 10-year-old Saco boy who suffered a severe brain injury in December after a tree fell on him at the Massachusetts home of relatives has died.

click image to enlarge

Matthew Cox, 10, plays hockey outside his home in Saco before Christmas. He suffered a brain injury Dec. 26 while visiting family in Massachusetts and died Friday at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Family photo

Matthew Cox was riding a zip line at the Easton, Mass., home of an aunt and uncle on Dec. 26 when a tree attached to the line snapped and fell on him. He had been in a coma in the intensive care unit at Boston Children’s Hospital since then, according to his family.

“His family was with him when he passed away peacefully this afternoon,” Andrea Duggan, a hospital spokeswoman, said Friday evening.

Matthew’s condition had remained dire since he was hospitalized. His mother, father and two sisters had been at his bedside since he was injured, said his uncle, Chris Dupill, earlier this month.

Matthew’s family moved to Maine from Hanover, Mass., last summer after Bill Cox, Matthew’s father, was hired at a financial company in Portland.

The family built a home in Saco that was completed in September and had been eager to move in and start life in Maine, Dupill said.

Though Matthew was new to Maine, he quickly became a standout in the state’s youth hockey community. He was the No. 1 pick in the Casco Hockey Association season that began in October.

Cade Blackburn, who coaches the Avalanche team in the squirts age group, told The Press Herald that he recalled seeing Matthew’s hockey skills test when he first arrived and realized his skills were the best in the league. Blackburn drafted him onto his team immediately.

Nearly 95,000 online visitors had gone to a CaringBridge website devoted to Matthew’s recovery by Friday evening. Supporters had also raised $38,600 through an online fundraising site in Matthew’s name at www.sharingcounts.com.

“Matt is a good student, an active member of his local parish and an all-around super kid,” his family wrote in its plea for financial contributions. They added that his medical costs were “astronomical.”

An investigation by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office said that Matthew was playing on a zip line that was tied between two trees.

While he was riding along the zip line, one of the trees the line was connected to began to collapse. Matthew jumped off the line and tried to get away, but was struck by the falling pine tree, the DA’s office said.

As family members and supporters hoped for his recovery, Matthew’s picture was also featured on the big screen at a recent Frozen Fenway event at Fenway Park in Boston.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan

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