Community Unites in Hope for Lakeview Student Struck by Car
Hundreds gathered at Lakeview Junior High Wednesday in support of an eighth-grader's recovery.
The message of the night was simple but strong: “Never, never, never, never give up.”
That Winston Churchill quote accompanied each candle at the vigil Wednesday for a 14-year-old boy. It was repeated throughout Fr. Gavin Quinn’s speech. And it was in the faces of each of the hundreds of students and parents who filled Lakeview Junior High’s gym in support of the eighth-grader’s recovery.
The boy, of Downers Grove, remained in the hospital Wednesday after sustaining serious injuries when he was struck by a car Sunday while crossing Beller Drive in Darien with his bike. The hospital is not releasing any further details about his condition and the family has asked that his name be withheld.
As students and parents filed into Lakeview’s gym, they picked up thin white candles pushed through the bases of Dixie cups from boxes near the doorway. Orange ribbons tied notes with the Churchill quote to the candles.
Some students brought their own candles from home — short glass votives, wide, waxy pillars, and tapers with makeshift rings of foil to catch drips.
Boxes of tissues lined the walls, but there were few tears. Supporters gathered in huddled groups throughout the space before migrating to the gym’s perimeter for the actual vigil.
A Downers Grove South sophomore who is friends with the boy organized the event. He and two other students shared well wishes and prayers for the boy’s recovery.
“This was a huge shock to everyone,” one eighth-grade student told the crowd. “We have to think positively about his condition.”
Four hours before the vigil, Quinn said he visited Hunter at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
“He is still struggling to come out of the dark,” he said. But, he added, the boy is fighting hard.
The boy loves to play music and make people laugh, Quinn said. He also loves his two younger sisters very much.
“That’s a real sign,” he said, “because they probably drive him nuts sometimes.”
Quinn urged those at the gathering to laugh together and share stories of the boy to help bring themselves some solace throughout his recovery.
“Never give up,” Quinn said. “That’s what we pray for (him).”