Two young boys died after falling into an icy pond Wednesday afternoon while visiting their grandmother’s home in Palatine.
The mother of 6-year-old Romalice and 4-year-old Ro’Siah Brooks was inside when she said she heard the unmistakable sound of her sons screaming out her name.
“I heard them, ‘Mommy! Mommy!’ And, I came outside. I did the only thing I knew to do. I took off my shoes and I got on that ice and tried to get them. I didn’t make it to them. The ice cracked and I fell in, too. I tried!” said Teghan Ivy. “It felt like forever waiting for them to get them out that water.”
The boys were submerged for nearly 20 minutes before rescue divers brought them to dry land. Both were unresponsive.
“They were the definition, like I said, of ‘my brother’s keeper,” Ivy said. “Even to their final moments, they were together.”
Palatine firefighters pulled two children from the water in the 800-block of Panorama Drive around 3:30 p.m., police said.
The 4-year-old was taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights and later transferred to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he was pronounced dead at 11:43 p.m. Wednesday. The 6-year-old was transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 3:54 a.m. Thursday.
“They heard us. They heard us in that hospital. And, they were fighting. They fought!” said Romalice Brooks, the boys’ father.
An unthinkable heartache for any parent is now a reality for these two.
“It was a great experiment, and I am so sad that I could not complete that,” Brooks said. “The most I can do is just remember the great times that I had with my boys. Experimenting with them as far as being a father that I wanted to be; the father that I did not have.”
The boys’ hand- and footprints are now forever saved on a canvas. It’s a reminder of their lives cut far too short.
“I miss my boys. They fought. They fought so hard! They really did, and they together. They’re watching over us. Our guardian angels,” Ivy said. “I’m thankful we were there to be there by their sides. We were able to talk to them. They heard us.”
As the family grapples with this Thanksgiving tragedy, the boys’ funeral is still pending. The family is raising funds for proper burials on GoFundMe.
“I’m broken, but I know in time things will get better. But, right now, I don’t see it,” Ivy said.
Palatine police continue to investigate their deaths.