Adam Hadjis gave his 4-year-old daughter a goodbye kiss as she slept before he left for Minnesota. He would never see her alive again.
The family said that Gianna had been playing by herself when a large TV fell off a table, landing on the little girl.
Hadjis said, “They said her skull was severely crushed, and she had a massive bruise on the bridge of her nose.”
Gianna had visited Hadjis in his Iowa home after Christmas, then returned home to her mother in the Chicago area. Hadjis said he had just cooked breakfast at his home on Sunday morning when the girl’s mother called.
He said, “I could hear the ambulance sirens in the background.”
The father was informed that Gianna was being taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where doctors performed surgery to try to relieve pressure from her brain. Hadjis arrived at the hospital at 3:50 p.m.
Hadjis said, “She was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m., I missed her by an hour…One minute she’s there full of life, the next minute she’s gone.”
The Cook County medical examiner’s office stated that the preliminary cause of death is head trauma but an autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
The accident happened at the home of the mother’s boyfriend on Sunday morning. According to the boyfriend, the girl was playing downstairs when he and the mother heard a loud crash and ran to check on Gianna. The TV had fallen off a table and crashed onto the little girl.
Hadjis said, “She caught her several times hanging from the table and scolded her to stop…But it didn’t do any good I guess.”
Hadjis said he does not blame Gianna’s mother or the boyfriend. “I’m not mad at him, but nothing can bring her back…We just need to learn from this and celebrate her life. The most important thing is to warn other people with children that if they own a television that is unstable they can be putting their child at risk.”
According to Hadjis, he met Gianna’s mother while they were both serving in the Marines. Although they were living apart, they shared custody of the girl.
The family received a call this morning about a child Gianna’s age who was in need of a heart, Hadjis said tearfully. “We decided to donate her heart to that child…I hope she saves someone’s life.”
Gianna’s death is the third time in recent months that a child was killed by a falling television. The Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of 169 children ages 8 or younger being killed after a TV fell on them from 2000 to 2010, according to a report released by the commission in September.