Hundreds gathered on the Gresham High School football field Friday night to pay tribute to a former football star who died suddenly this week.
Michael Muange, 20, died of heart failure Tuesday, according to his family.
He was eating dinner with friends at the Casa Del Sol on SE 148th Avenue Tuesday and reached for some water. That's when his family says Muange collapsed and mysteriously stopped breathing.
"I didn't believe it, and still now I don't believe it" said his brother, Simon Muange. "I was just with him 30 minutes before that happened. It's just unbelievable.
His family says doctors believe Michael Muange suffered from some type of heart abnormality, a condition he likely had from birth but one that went undetected for 20 years.
"He used to have a physical every two years for football or for basketball," said his mother Matanda Masakadi. "Doctors never, ever said he had a heart condition."
Muange's seven other brothers and sisters say he was their rock, had a great sense of humor and had dreams of one day owning his own business.
"If he was still here, he would be the guy next to you in all of this, putting his hand, or his arm around you to tell you everything was alright. He was a nice guy," said his sister, Grace Muange.
"Michael always brought out the best in me, he was always encouraging me, and making jokes," said his sister, Divine Muange.
The family is still working to figure out the funeral arrangements for Michael Muange, but say financially they are in need of help.
They've set up an account at Wells Fargo under the Michael Muange Memorial Fund for those who want to help the family.
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