"Some heroes - including our kids - tried to save him, but it wouldn't have mattered what they did."
A father-of-six has been killed in a freak accident on a beach when a wave hit him and broke his neck.
Lee Dingle, 37, was playing with three of his six children on a North Carolina beach on Thursday when an intense wave hit him "just right" and slammed his head into the sand, his distraught wife revealed on Twitter.
"My partner, my love, and my home died today after a freak accident. Lee was playing on the beach with three of our kids yesterday, and an intense wave hit him just right to slam his head into the sand and break his neck," Shannon Dingle confirmed.
My partner, my love, and my home died today after a freak accident. Lee was playing on the beach with three of our kids yesterday, and an intense wave hit him just right to slam his head into the sand and break his neck. 1/
"Some heroes - including our kids - tried to save him, but it wouldn't have mattered what they did. His body couldn't recover from the initial injury."
He was pulled out of the water at Oak Island and taken to the intensive care unit at Hanover Regional Medical Center; however his throat had swelled so much from the injury that his brain was deprived of oxygen for too long to recover.
Lee met Shannon when he was 19 and she was 18. They had two biological children, and adopted three siblings from Uganda, and as well as a little girl with cerebral palsy from Taiwan .
"I wasn't supposed to be saying goodbye at 37," she wrote. "I don't know how to be a grown up without him, but I'll learn. I just wish I didn't have to."
"Please pray for us. And feel free cuss and smash stuff because God knows I'll be doing some of that. (And breathing and hydrating and eating and all those self care things because I am worth it and because I have 6 little people to parent.)" she added.
The Archibald Project, which highlights inspirational adoption stories and had previously featured the Dingle family, paid tribute on their Facebook page.
"We are grieved and saddened to share the tragic passing of a beautiful man and father," they wrote. "We first met Lee Dingle in the Taipei airport as we were traveling with he and his wife, Shannon, to document their first adoption of a little Taiwanese girl with Cerebral Palsy.
"Over the years we've watched Lee and Shannon fight injustice and open their home and hearts. Lee leaves behind his 6 children, 3 are a sibling group from Uganda, 2 biological and 1 from Taiwan, and his wonderful and strong wife, Shannon."
They shared a link to a GoFundMe raising money for the family, which has already received $165,000.
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