14-year-old Munro boarder dies

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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MALVERN, St Elizabeth — Munro College is mourning the death of 14-year-old boarder, Diego DeSouza, described by school principal Mark Smith as “a ray of sunshine in the school”.

Desouza, a budding footballer, was found “unresponsive” by staff members early yesterday as they did their rounds to rouse the boys for the new school day. It is believed he died hours during the nine to early morning.

Smith told the Jamaica Observer that the prevailing theory, pending a post-mortem, is that the child may have had a seizure.

The principal said DeSouza, son of leading Trelawny educator Shawn DeSouza, was taken out of school a “couple weeks” ago by his parents following a seizure. Results of medical tests following that incident were still being awaited, Smith said.

“It's still too early and we don't want to theorise,” the principal added. But preliminary investigations revealed that the boy's death was due to natural causes.

The principal said the school community had been hit hard hard by the tragedy and “his (DeSouza's) friends are very emotional”. Grief counsellors from the Ministry of Education were among those who had come to the school yesterday to assist, Smith said.

“I would ask persons to bear the (DeSouza) family and the school community in their prayers,” Smith said.

“This youngster was a ray of sunshine in the school, extremely enthusiastic about life, very athletic; a real Munronian,” Smith said.

A release from the all-boys school described the deceased “as an affable, well-respected third-form student and prodigious footballer.

“The school family, with the assistance of trained personnel from the Ministry of Education and surrounding schools, is providing all necessary forms of support to the students and members of the school community. The Munro College family extends deepest sympathies to Diego's family and friends,” the release said.

— Garfield Myers


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