5-year-old strangled in swing set accident ‘made this world better,’ family says

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner


Aurora Masters, 5, will be laid to rest on Saturday, a month after the Fort Collins, Colorado, girl was strangled by the rope of a disc swing in a backyard accident.

Aurora’s family has found comfort through her organ donation, which allows her heart to “beat somewhere.”

Her great-aunt, Brenda Kennedy, told Fox News Digital that the plucky girl was “living her best life every day.”

“She lived, she loved, and she made this world better by being in it,” Kennedy said on Thursday. “That’s the lesson! Teach your kids to be kind, loving, exuberant consumers of life.” 

“Unfortunately, this was a tragic accident,” Kennedy continued. “We all want to make sense and say if only you did this or that it wouldn’t have happened. [But] tragedy happens in this life.”

“She gave me a kiss and hug, and then she went outside,” mother Krystal Masters told KUSA of the events of May 8. “This was situation normal. This was life. She just played.”

After the girl had been outside for just 15 minutes, a neighbor told the mother that something had gone horribly wrong.

“I saw her in the tree with the swing wrapped around her neck,” the mother said.

“I was begging, please, please don’t. This is a good kid, don’t do it,” her father, Tom Masters, told the outlet of his thought process at the time. 


Oxygen deprivation left the girl with permanent brain damage, according to a GoFundMe initiative, and the family chose to shift to end-of-life care and organ donation on May 11 after an MRI determined she would not recover. Aurora died at Children’s Hospital Colorado on May 13. 

The family said Aurora’s organs were donated to Donor Alliance, a group that “facilitates the process of organ and tissue donation for transplantation throughout Colorado and Wyoming,” according to its website. 

“We know that her heart is beating somewhere,” the girl’s mother told KUSA. “It genuinely helps me to know that.”

“I am proud of my daughter,” she continued. “I was already proud, but she’s still giving, and that helps me a little bit.”

“Our hearts are shattered and we continue the journey to honor and celebrate her worldly gifts,” read the GoFundMe. 


A series of updates on the initiative remembered the girl as a “ray of sunshine” with a “ninja quality of bravery.”

“Her magnetic personality and luminous character, seriously, it was just bright, brilliant, smiling,” Tom Masters told KUSA. 

“She would wave and smile at other people in traffic to get them to smile, and then she would be like ‘Daddy, they smiled,'” Krystal Masters told the outlet.

Videos posted to the girl’s memorial page and on social media show Aurora freestyle rapping and dancing – her mother told The Denver Post that there “wasn’t a day we didn’t dance.”

Aurora’s father would bring her to area open mic nights where she became known as “the music baby” after clapping and singing along to performers’ sets, the family remembered.

The mother told the outlet that they set up the disk swing because it was regarded as “very safe.” 


“What I would say to parents is love your kids every minute, have a dance party and just live life. Because you never know when it’s going away,” the mother told the outlet.

Get updates and more on this story at foxnews.com.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.