HAMPSTEAD, N.H. — Alex Danielson was doing what he loved when he fell off his skateboard last month and suffered what turned out to be a fatal brain injury.
The 17-year-old Pinkerton Academy student fell into a coma shortly after the accident and never regained consciousness before his death four days later on June 30.
Lee Danielson's last memory of his son is the smile on his face.
Even though Alex was unconscious in a Boston hospital bed, that smile during those final moments before he died reminded his father of what a likable, fun-loving teenager his son was.
"I wanted to be around him as much as I could," Lee Danielson said yesterday.
Alex was longboarding with two friends down a hill on Bloody Brook Road in Hampstead June 26. His mother, Sandra, said he wasn't wearing a helmet when he fell and bumped his head on the pavement.
"His friends said he got up and said he was OK, but had a headache," she said.
Soon after, Alex fell into a coma and was rushed to Lawrence (Mass.) General Hospital. He was later transferred to Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Four areas of his brain were damaged in the fall, his mother said. Doctors gave the family the choice of operating on Alex, possibly leaving him with permanent brain damage, or taking him off life support and waiting for a miracle. They chose the latter.
"We knew Alex would never be Alex again because he had too much brain damage," his father said.
For the four days before Alex died, many family members and friends visited him for what they knew would be the last time, his mother said.
"He died doing what he loved doing," she said.
Many of Alex's friends attended a memorial serviceat Brookstone Grille in Derry, Sandra Danielson said.