Aaliyah Destiny Boyer
of Manheim died in the A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware after fighting for her life since Tuesday.
Aaliyah was struck in the top of her head by a stray bullet, apparently celebratory gunfire, when she went outside to watch New Year's fireworks at her mother Crystal Blackburn's home near Elkton, Maryland. The girl immediately collapsed to the ground and turned blue. Family members administered CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and paramedics were able to revive her heart before rushing her to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware.
Multiple tests over a three-day period showed that Aaliyah's brain was not functioning. Meanwhile, the girl's family was informed that there was an ill three-year-old girl in the hospital who needed a heart and Aaliyah's was a perfect match.
"That was one of the ways we could keep her alive," grandfather Richard Lindsey told Lancaster Online.
Aaliyah's family decided to donate her organs after removing her from life support. Hospital officials told them that the girl's organs could possibly save the lives of 10 children.
"That will make someone happy," Lindsey said.
Aaliyah was a fourth-grader at H.C. Burgard Elementary School in Manheim.
"She was a jolly, happy girl that loved life, and I believe she was doing that right up to the end," Rose Graham, who attended church with Aaliyah, told Lancaster Online.
Dustin Sauder, a youth pastor at the Manheim Brethren in Christ Church, where Aaliyah attended a Kids Club on Wednesdays, recalled how she was "bubbly and skipping through the halls."
"She was known for taking Bible verses and making them into silly songs that everyone could remember," Sauder told Lancaster Online.
"Aaliyah was a good child. She always wanted to teach kids," Lindsey said.
Aaliyah is one of numerous children killed as a result of gun accidents in recent weeks.
On December 15, Ryder Rozier
, a 3-year-old from Guthrie, Oklahoma, shot himself in the head with a gun he found in the home of his uncle, a state policeman.
Three days later, Dalton Williams
, a 16-year-old from South Dakota, was shot and killed by his friend Braiden McCahren while roughhousing around.
On Christmas Day, 2-year-old Sincere Tymere Smith
of Conway, South Carolina shot and killed himself with his father's gun.
Last Sunday, 8-year-old Easton Brueger
, also of South Carolina, was shot in the stomach and killed by his own father, who was cleaning his rifle while pointing the weapon at the child.
And on Thursday, Flint, Michigan 16-year-old Shukur Brown
turned himself in to police and confessed to accidentally shooting his best friend Gianni Herron, 15, to death while playing with a gun on January 1.