16-year-old Higley HS student passes away

A community in Gilbert is coming together to remember the life of 16-year-old Riggs Gibbons.

The Higley High School sophmore passed away last Sunday night after a courageous battle with a heart defect.

Gibbons' friends and family paid tribute to him at a vigil held Friday night.

Friends and family say he defied the odds by living to be 16-years-old, doctors originally told his parents he would only live to be 3-years-old with his heart condition.

"I look at people with cancer that have 3 months to live, people with no limbs or arms, and I feel lucky inside," said Riggs Gibbons during a video he had recorded and his family posted to Facebook this week.

"We are just lighting the pathway for the Gibbons family when they come home from the viewing tonight, so they can feel the light and warmth that we all are giving to them in a very physical and visual way, and we wanted to represent the light that Riggs brought into all of our lives, because there wasn't a room that he didn't light up from his smile and personality," said Danielle Caldwell.

"I think he showed everyone how to have a good time, every time that you were down or being a bit too serious, he would wind you up by telling a joke or doing something stupid, that he would love to do, that's what Riggs was to everybody," said Chaz Welch, Rigg's friend.

Sadly Riggs is the third Higley HS student to pass away this year. Earlier this week a student committed suicide, and yet another student died in a zip lining accident earlier this year. 

Riggs's funeral service is scheduled for Saturday morning.

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