Local News

Child loses leg, family gains cause

Posted September 27, 2008 6:01 p.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2008 3:39 p.m. EDT

— 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."