The pictures document the last days of Damion Wilkins’ life, traveling with his fellow pre-med students on a medical mission trip to Peru.
They show him giving free medical care, trekking through remote villages and dancing with the natives.
“I’m just glad that he was doing something he loved when he passed,” said Luke Glenn, an ODU student who worked with Damion as a Resident Advisor for Whitehurst Hall.
Doing what he loved–that is what his friends and family took comfort in as they said their final goodbyes Monday at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Virginia Beach.
Damion’s funeral took place less than two weeks after the 19-year-old’s sudden death from a heart attack in the Peruvian jungles.
“When I heard that, it devastated me. It’s hard to know that he is not here anymore,” said Brittany Thompson, who was Damion’s prom date when the two attended Landstown High School in 2012.
It was a funeral that his mother worried might never happen after Peruvian officials told her it would be 5-7 days just to process the paperwork.
Thankfully, legislative and public pressure sped up the process, and Damion’s body arrived home just one week after his death.
“I want people to remember him by the great things he did, especially taking that mission to Peru,” said former Landstown High School classmate Frances Requina.
“What do doctors do? They help people. It was his greatest dream to give medical care to anyone regardless of their financial position, and he was actually getting to do that in Peru,” said Stephanie Weil, who lived down the street from Damion.
His friends say if anyone can learn a lesson from Damion’s short life…
“Do what you love because you never know when your time comes,” said Glenn.