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Loved ones hold vigil for Daniel Esparza, the 17-year-old Bowie High School student who collapsed at a football game

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Family, friends, and Bowie High School faculty held a prayer vigil Saturday for the Bowie High School band member who collapsed at a football game Friday night.

Loved ones say the student is 17-year-old Daniel Esparza. A University Medical Center official told ABC-7 Esparza remains in critical condition at the hospital.

"Daniel... he's overall a really happy guy. He's very trustworthy. He's caring... even when you're going through stuff, he'll make sure that you're good, you're safe, and that you feel comfortable," said Remi Urrutia, Esparza's close friend. Urrutia says she was next to Esparza when he fell.

In tears, Urrutia told ABC-7 what she wanted to say to Esparza.

"Daniel, know that I love you... I hope that you are fine because this is making me worry so much. And because I love you like a brother, seeing you like that broke me a little bit. Knowing that I could not help you because everyone was yelling, but I know that I helped you the most I could," she said.

Many of Esparza's teachers showed up to the vigil, saying they felt they needed to support the students during a difficult time.

"We're here gathered today in unity. To gather for all the students that were also affected by it and demonstrate that we are one family, and we are here to help one another," said Bowie High School teacher Jorge Curiel Jr.

Dozens of people bowed their heads in prayer for both Esparza and his family. Friends say the family is facing financial hardship because of Esparza's medical bills. A GoFundMe was set up to help the family pay those expenses.

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Kerry Mannix


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