Vigils Held for Chaldean Children in Boating Accident

WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP., Mich (WXYZ) – Two of the children involved in a boating accident Sunday have died and third child is still at the hospital in critical condition.

So many people came out to support the Mansour family Monday at St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church in West Bloomfield Township that eventually police had to control traffic.

“It’s amazing to see how just one family could bring an entire community together,” said Perrin Atisha, a seminarian who spoke at the service.  He said people prayed for an hour inside church.

People prayed for the Mansour’s 11-year-old son who died yesterday shortly after the boat accident.  Monday, his 6-year-old sister Gabrielle Mansour died from her injuries. Adriana Mansour, 10, is still fighting for her life.

“All they’re asking for right now is prayers and that’s the best thing we can give them right now.  Honestly, that’s what they’d want most from us,” said Atisha.

All three kids were riding on a large tube behind their father John Mansour as he towed them on this jet-ski on Sylvan Lake on Sunday.  A person driving this boat did not see the tube and hit the kids.  We’re told the boater and dozens of others on the lake rushed to help the children and administer CPR.

“We are one family.  So when something does happen it’s not like something happened to someone out there.  It’s something happened to our own family,” said Atisha.

Once they got out of church, people went out to the grotto in the back parking lot with balloons and candles.  Even those who didn’t know the family came out in support.

“Having my heart drop when I hear something like this, especially with the loss of the 6-year-old today, it was absolutely horrible.  Rather than speaking words to the family I think our prayers speak louder,” Joseph Samona who belongs to the church.

We have been told that this one of three vigils that took place Monday night across metro Detroit for the family, and even one as far away as a church in San Diego.


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