A Kansas high school football team photographer was covering a junior varsity game last week when she was accidentally hit on the sideline, resulting in her death four days later.
Linda Gregory, 69, succumbed to a head injury in the hospital on Friday, her grieving husband of 23 years, Mel Gregory, announced on Facebook, writing: “She has passed away and is at peace.”
The photographer was taking pictures on Sept. 4 at the game between Wichita Northwest High School and Bishop Carroll High School when two players who were blocking inadvertently “collided” into Gregory.
The woman fell backwards and hit her head on the cement, leaving her in critical condition.
Her husband reported in a previous update that she was in intensive care with a brain hemorrhage.
Gregory had spent much of last week on life support so his organs could be donated and save the lives of others.
In a post following his wife’s death, Mel Gregory emphasized that Linda wouldn’t want anyone to be blamed for what happened, least of all the players, whom she affectionately called “her boys.”
“I know the players are traumatized and, on their behalf, I want to show my support,” the husband wrote.
High school sports photographer Linda Gregory, 69, died Friday from critical injuries suffered four days earlier when two players accidentally collided with her during a game. Wichita Northwest Grizzly Football
Gregory was covering the Sept. 4 matchup between Wichita Northwest High School (above) and Bishop Carroll High School when tragedy struck. Linda Gregory/Wichita Northwest Grizzly Football
On Friday, the Northwest football team honored its longtime photographer before a game by wearing stickers with her initials on their helmets, the Wichita Eagle reported.
There was also a moment of silence in Gregory’s honor before kickoff. Mel Gregory was present at the game, along with other family members.
“Tonight I was on the sidelines again to see Linda Gregory being honored with many tributes. It was difficult doing the interviews and my voice broke many times, but I hope I made my dear Linda Gregory proud by trying to be as good as her,” Mel Gregory wrote on Facebook after the matchup between Northwest and Heights High. School.
Mel Gregory (right), Linda’s husband and business partner, announced her death on Facebook. Wichita Northwest Grizzly Football
Gregory had been taking photographs of Northwest High sports since 2014.Mel Gregory / Facebook
The Gregorys ran a photography business together and have been taking photographs of Northwest High sports since 2014.
Northwest coach Steve Martin described Linda as an “amazing person” after her injury.
“She did everything she could to make each child feel important in their own way,” Martin said. “Her passion for children was amazing, but she went beyond taking photographs for Linda and Mel. They were part of our football team and always will be. They are family!
Mel Gregory urged the public not to blame anyone for what happened to Linda, least of all the players.NBC
New York Jets running back Breece Hall, a former Northwest High student, asked for prayers Tuesday after learning of the injury.
“These are the most genuine, polite, kind, generous and wholehearted people. Prayers to you and your wonderful wife, Mel Gregory,” Hall wrote on Facebook.
Grief-stricken Mel Gregory has been sharing memories of his beloved wife and documenting her healing process, which has been helped by his and Linda’s children and grandchildren.
The Northwest Grizzlies honored Linda Gregory by wearing stickers with her initials on their helmets. NBC
“Please keep her in your heart,” he pleaded with his supporters. “She was the kindest, most loving person I have ever met and I was very lucky to have had her for 23 years. Rest now, Linda. It is time for your spirit to learn something new.”
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