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Child loses leg, family gains cause

Posted September 27, 2008
Updated September 28, 2008

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— The family of 4-year-old Matthew Baldwin is preparing him for a lifetime of medical treatment. But they want his tragedy to raise awareness about lawnmower safety.

In August, Matthew was run over by a riding lawn mower in eastern North Carolina.

"He was fighting for his life," Matthew's father, Ray Baldwin, said. "I didn't really know it was the leg until after I arrived at the hospital."

Doctors saved Matthew's life but they had to amputate his leg.

“You never think that your son, your child, will be the one,” Baldwin said.

On Saturday, the Baldwins threw a superhero-themed fundraiser, "Raising the Stars," at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The money raised will go to help pay for Matthew’s prosthetic leg and create awareness of the dangers of riding mowers.

Friends and family said they hope to turn the fundraiser into an annual event.

Matthew will get a new prosthetic leg next month and start rehabilitation, Baldwin said. And he is already excited about the prosthetic leg – he calls it "a Batman robot leg," his father said.

“He actually thinks it’s gonna be really, really cool,” Baldwin said.

As for him, Baldwin said that Matthew is already his superhero.

"He hasn't cried since the first day," Baldwin said. "He keeps me positive by seeing his smile."


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  • superstarsoccer18 Sep 29, 2008

    umm actually, Austin Edwards had the same thing happen.
    One day, his father, was riding the lawnmower and cutting the grass. Him and his mama were outside feeding their hunting dogs. His mama went to put food in the dogs bowls and austin took off down teh stairs. He wanted his dad to play with him. Austin was running to his dad, when his dad put the lawnmower in reverse and began to recut something he had missed. The lawnmower knocked austin down and cut his feet off. both of them.
    The young couple rushed austin to the epsom fire department at the end of their road where they called life flight rescue.
    they told the parents they were going to UNC.
    The flight officers then tolkd them they were going to Duke right before they closed teh doors and took off. THey immediatley rushed to Duke where they waited. THey then found out he had gone to UNC and had been there the whole time. Austin, only 2 or 3 years old, at the time. Had to have major constructive surgery.

  • FamilyGuy5 Sep 29, 2008

    Actually, the child's mother's boyfriend ran him over with the lawn mower - not his father.

  • tank1234 Sep 29, 2008

    My son new the little boy's Aunt. The little boy was playing
    with other kids in the neighbors yard. The dad was cutting grass
    on the riding lawn mower. The little boy ran in front of the
    mower to shoot his father with a water gun. They had a fundraiser at the fair grounds Saturday. My son was the Hunk. He said the little boy was in good spirits. God Bless the child and the family.

  • kathy8791 Sep 29, 2008

    It is very sad. Here's the story. http://www.matthewbaldwin.org/

  • Iworkforaliving Sep 29, 2008

    I may have missed it in the article, but how did the child get close enough to a running riding lawn mower to get run over, and how did he get run over?

    Please don't get me wrong, I'm sad the little guy had to go thru that and I'm glad he's doing much better than I would be, I'm just curious.