Friends, family united in prayer for Marcus Gaiters

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ZANESVILLE – They started on the sidewalk and then spilled out onto the street, pushing the darkness back to the corner of Lenox and Myrtle avenues on Wednesday night.

They gathered, friends and family, over 100 people, to pray for a miracle 10-year-old Marcus Gaiters wins his battle against COVID-19.

Gaiters has been hospitalized at Columbus Children’s Hospital for more than a month, battling what his doctors describe as the worst case of COVID-19 they have seen. He tested positive for the disease the day after his 10th birthday, his mother Alison previously told The Times Recorder.

More: COVID-19: Marcus Gaiters, 10, Battles Devastating Case of COVID-19

“Every face, every life, every candle held here tonight represents someone who cares deeply for this family,” said Pastor Mark Ballmer, of Westwood Baptist Church, standing in front of a screen showing photos of Marcus as he led the crowd in prayer.

Deb Savage, a longtime family friend who has helped lead fundraising efforts for the Gaiters family, spoke of the glee she felt at being able to visit Marcus in the hospital recently.

“What a joy to be able to do that,” she said. The joy was tempered by the difficulty of Marcus’ battle with disease. “To see this little boy as he is, all we can ask now is for God to give us a miracle.”

More than 100 people gathered on Wednesday evening to pray for Marcus Gaiters, hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a month.  His uncle, Brian Kaufman, told the crowd he knew Marcus could hear them and was smiling.

Savage thanked the community for their financial support as GoFundMe for the family surpassed $ 10,000.

Following:GoFundMe Account #MarcusStrong

She said she told Marcus’ mother, “I can do my best to raise thousands of dollars for you, but that doesn’t take away your grief.”

“Please keep praying,” she told the crowd. “That’s all we can do at the moment.”

Brian Kaufman, Marcus’ uncle, whose front yard hosted the event, said he knew Marcus could hear them and was smiling, “because that’s what Marcus means, to spend a good time.

“Marcus has a long way to go,” Kaufman said. “I just pray that we can unite against this virus and get rid of it,” he said, asking friends and family gathered to continue to protect themselves and those who cannot get vaccinated by wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

“He needs prayers now. said Susan Sharrer, who helped organize the event. Until recently, they were neighbors. She remembers Marcus always shouting a hello from across the street when she left for work in the morning or when he got home.

“He’s just full of love, there’s no other way to describe it,” she said. “We’re just trying to show the Gaiters that we all love him too.”

After the prayers, a mix of Marcus’ favorite songs was played as friends and neighbors slowly dispersed into the night, waiting, hoping and praying.

ccrook@gannett.com

740-868-3708

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