On Friday afternoon, in the last hours before spring break, Dutchman Creek Middle students walked around the school track in memory of DeMario McClinton, a fellow student who died earlier this week.
DeMario’s family members joined the students the walk to remember DeMario, while students held a sign they’d all decorated. A commemorative plaque was placed at the base of a tree the school planted Thursday in DeMario’s memory.
“Since we found out, the kids have been emotional,” said guidance counselor Shayla Scott. “There’s been a lot of reflection.”
Teachers and students described DeMario as friendly, fun-loving and always willing to help others.
“He always had a smile on his face,” said classmate Logan McCuin. “If you were mad, he would say, ‘Do you want a hug?’ ”
DeMario was born with hydrocephalus, a condition that causes excess fluid to build up in the brain. He had a shunt put in, but in December, the shunt failed and DeMario suffered a series of severe seizures that gave him “significant brain damage.” He then developed infections in his lungs and heart.
DeMario died Tuesday at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. His funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Vision and Beyond Christian Ministries, 2939 India Hook Road, Rock Hill.
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072