Warwick community remembers Gianna Cirella

By: Chloe Leshner



WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — The Warwick community once again coming together, this time to mourn young Gianna Cirella, who died last night. The Toll Gate High School student had emergency surgery last week to amputate part of her leg but ultimately lost her battle to a blood infection.

Just 1 day after the tragic news, Toll Gate soccer players and students have really come together and through their grief, are working on a permanent way to honor their friend.

As they dig up dirt and move away tree roots, friends of Gianna Cirella have a very clear vision of how they’ll transform a rock outside of Toll Gate High School to honor the legacy Cirella leaves behind.

"I want them to be reminded that she was one of us and that it was unfortunate but everyone came together. Everyone is going to miss her and you don’t have to be best friends with her in order to miss her and wish she was still here," says Elise Saccoccia. 

Cirella passed away 2 and a half weeks after being rushed to the hospital with a blood infection. Her friends focusing their grief on the memorial.

"If this was anybody else Gianna would be leading the charge to want to do anything and everything that she could and these kids know that," says Lonna Razza, the soccer coach and a teacher at Toll Gate.

Many students wore Cirella Strong shirts to school today, a testament to how loved she was and how much she’ll be missed.

"It’s hard to pinpoint what I’ll miss the most because I’ll just miss everything," says Saccoccia.

They hope the finished product, which will be painted Cirella’s favorite color purple, will remind every student who drives by that life is short and to live like Gianna did.

"I just want them to remember her as the kind hearted, loyal, compassionate young woman that she is," says Razza.

"She always had a smile on her face,  was always there when you needed something, anything, and was always bubbly and laughing just made the room that much better," says Shannon McCamish.

Razza says the outreach from the community has been incredible and that a local jeweler made the soccer team bracelets with a purple stone. Other schools have been reaching out to buy the purple Cirella strong shirts, with all of the money going to the family.

(C) WLNE/ABC6 2017