Early Wednesday morning doctors began the delicate procedure of removing a tumor from the spinal cord of a 16 year old boy. As Gustavo Clavijo fought for his life in a Jackson hospital, his classmates at Gulfport High School were asking God for a miracle.
"Lord we give you Gustavo," began the prayer. The students came together to support Gustavo Clavijo because they say he would do the same for them. So with closed eyes and open hearts, students at Gulfport High gathered to pray for their classmate.
Alicia Knox expressed her fear that "if he died, it's just I don't know what I'm going to do. I feel really bad because he's a really good guy. It's just hard. It's hard."
Some of the students there know the 16 year-old suffering from a life threatening tumor and some don't but all that mattered at this prayer vigil was the faith that God hears prayers.
"There's too many people praying for him for him not to get better," said friend Kara Hill. "He's going get better. He's going to come back."
The soccer team proudly wore the T-shirts they'd made up encouraging people to "Pray For Goose." They say what is special about number five is that he's more than just a great athlete.
"We've played with him for the past two years and it's more of a friendship thing than missing him on the field," said Michael Malenfant, a junior in high school. "Of coarse, we're going to miss him but we just want him to get better."
Jason Carr says Gustavo is "real nice. He's always encouraging everybody and helping everybody. He's real funny. He's a comedian."
As they nervously await for news on Gustavo's condition, students thought of how some lessons cannot be not found in books.
"It's made me realize you know that life is too short," said Hill. "Don't sweat the small stuff."
We talked to Gulfport High soccer coach Howard McNeil on Wednesday afternoon. He says doctors have taken tissue samples to see if the tumor is cancerous.
Gustavo Clavijo and his family immigrated from South America a few years ago. If you would like to help with his medical expenses, you can make a donation at any Hancock Bank.