‘Hug the ones you love. Relish today.’: 15-year-old hockey player dies after neck lands on teammate’s ice skate blade

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“It takes a minute for your whole life to change.

It doesn’t seem fair, especially when it comes to our children.

We spend every waking moment caring for them.

Even before their arrival, we prioritize their health and safety.

Nursing, nurturing, feeding, bathing.

We buckle them in car seats, apply sunscreen, tighten helmets and still, sometimes life happens.”

“Yesterday, it happened to Teddy Balkind.

Teddy was a well-loved tenth grader at St. Luke’s School and from New Canaan, Connecticut where he previously attended public schools.

Fifteen-year-old Teddy was playing in a JV ice hockey game at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut when he collided with another player and fell to the ice, his neck landing on the other boy’s skate.

A routine play turned tragic accident and though Teddy was immediately transported to Greenwich Hospital and rushed into surgery, his injury was too severe to survive.

An injury from a simple play of just chasing a puck, called by spectators, entirely normal and unremarkable on its face.

I wish we knew the why.

I wish we knew why terrible things happen to good people.

I wish life was fair.

When my own big brother died, my only sibling, my fifteen-year-old self tried to wish it away, tried to make sense of undeserved death.

I had prayers for peace though not for understanding, because this wasn’t anyone’s fault.

Not the other child’s, not the coaches, and not God’s.

Teddy is described as ‘an all-around incredible young man, son, and brother,’ and tonight, his family needs our love.

Relish today.

Hug the ones you love.

Embrace joy and your children.


Parents Everywhere.”

A note from Love What Matters:

In honor of Teddy Balkind, a petition has been started to make neck guards mandatory in hockey. You can sign it here.

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Adrian Wood. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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