03/27/2009 at 02:00 PM EDT
Natasha Richardson's tragic death
after a skiing accident has spawned at least one happy ending: It inadvertently saved the life of a little girl.
After 7-year-old Morgan McCracken of Mentor, Ohio, had been accidentally hit in the head by a baseball last week, she seemed fine for the following two days.
"She had no symptoms," her father Donald tells CNN
. "She went to school both days and got an A on her spelling test as usual. There were no issues whatsoever."
But after he and wife Connie heard about Natasha Richardson's tragedy on the news, they realized their daughter could be in grave danger. "Because of Natasha, we called the pediatrician immediately," Donald said. "And by the time I got off the phone with him, Morgan was sobbing, her head hurt so much."
After Morgan was helicoptered to a children's hospital in Cleveland, the chief of pediatric neurosurgery, Dr. Alan Cohen, informed the McCrackens their daughter had the same injury that killed Richardson: an epidural hematoma.
"My heart sank. It just sank," Donald says.
But now, after undergoing surgery and remaining hospitalized for five days, little Morgan is back home and doing just fine. "Dr. Cohen told us that if we hadn't brought her in Thursday night, she never would have woken up," says Donald.
For more on the story, visit CNN.com