Hundreds of students, teachers, parents and other members of the Manchester community stood in the cold outside Manchester High School Monday evening during a candle light vigil to mourn the death of Makvrick Donkor, the 14-year old freshmen pulled from the pool on the day before Thanksgiving last week and later pronounced dead at Manchester Memorial Hospital.
Donkor, who recently immigrated from Ghana and played on the Manchester High junior varsity soccer team, was reportedly found unconscious at the bottom of the Manchester High pool on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 21, during a physical education class in which he was a student. Attempts to revive Donkor on the scene were unsuccessful, and he was transported to Manchester Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
But those who spoke to honor Donkor Monday night did not focus on the details of his death, but instead on his life and the impact he left on many in the Manchester High community.
The vigil included a blessing, songs, a poem, a rendition of Amazing Grace and remarks from Donkor's friends and family.
The Hartford Courant quoted an anonymous source Monday as stating that a surveillance camera at the pool shows that Donkor was underwater for about 17 minutes before he was noticed and pulled out. The teacher instructing the class, Thayer Redman, who also coaches the outdoor boys track team at the high school, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, according to the Courant.
A flyer distributed as part of Monday evening's vigil included a picture of Donkor, the date of his birth and death - Dec. 19, 1997 to Nov. 21, 2012 - and the quotation: "I thought you were gone, but now I know you're with me."