Family, friends and community members are paying tribute to a teenage girl from Wilmington who is fighting for her life after family members say she was brutally beaten by a teenage boy.
According to her grandparents, 17-year-old Hannah Connaway is recovering in the hospital after she was severely beaten on Friday night while at a small gathering.
On Monday night, more than 50 people took part in an emotional candlelight vigil held in her honor.
Surrounded by candles, pictures, and lots of tears, organizers of the event say this community is a close knit group. They say when one person is hurt the entire community suffers.
Hannah's Grandfather, Jerry Strickland, tells us that she needed brain surgery after the beating.
Officials from New Hanover Regional Medical Center confirm that Connaway was upgraded to serious condition as of Monday night.
Strickland says the hardest part about the whole thing is not being able to help his "princess."
"Its gut wrenching to see the condition she is in and you can't really get in there and help," said Strickland. "We know that she's in God's hands and his healing power is going to take care of this."
We have learned that a teenage boy was arrested on Friday night on charges of assault on a female and inflicting serious injuries.
However, police have not confirmed that the arrest is linked to Connaway's case.
Police remain tight lipped about the incident -- saying this is a domestic violence case and they're not able to disclose information.
Friends and family say that the candlelight service was about one thing -- to show the Connaway family that they are loved and supported by all of their friends in this community during this difficult time.
"When you go to bed at night, try to close eyes and forget but then you wake up and reality is back," said Strickland. "She's in the hospital, injured, hurt, unconscious. She's unable to move one side of her body."
Donations can also be made at this time. Friends of the family are organizing a fundraiser through Colwell Banker and Sea Coast Realty to help with medical expenses.
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