PALATINE, Ill. (WLS) — Romalice and Ro’Siah Brooks’ parents described the two brothers as inseparable, sadly even in their final moments.
“I’m broken, but I know in time things will get better. But, right now, I can’t see it,” said Teghan Ivy, their mother.
The boys died after falling into an icy pond while visiting their grandmother’s house in Palatine on Wednesday afternoon.
The mother of Romalice, 6, and Ro’Siah, 4, was inside when she said she heard the unmistakable sound of her sons calling out her name.
“I heard them, ‘Mom! Mom !’ And, I went out. I did the only thing I knew how to do. I took my shoes off and got on that ice and tried to grab them. I failed to reach them. The ice cracked and I fell in, too. I tried ! said Ivy. “It was like waiting forever for them to get them out of that water.”
The boys were submerged for almost 20 minutes before rescue divers brought them back to dry land. Both were insensitive.
Palatine firefighters pulled two children from the water in the 800 block of Panorama Drive around 3:31 p.m., police said. They were taken to two different hospitals, where they died a few hours later.
“They heard us. They heard us in this hospital. And, they were fighting. They we’re fighting ! said Romalice Brooks, the boys’ father. “But, they were in that water for an incredibly long time. One was there for ten to 15 minutes. The other was for 15 to 20 minutes.”
Heartbreak unthinkable for any parent is now a reality for these two.
“It was a great experience, and I’m so sad that I couldn’t finish this,” Brooks said. “The best I can do is remember the good times I had with my boys. Experiment with them until I was the dad I wanted to be, the dad I didn’t have.”
The parents said their sons were still together.
“They were the definition of, as I said, ‘my brother’s keeper,'” Ivy said. “Even in their final moments, they were together.”
Ivy showed ABC7 photos of her sons decorating pumpkins for Halloween. Now those same pumpkins, along with their fingerprints and footprints, sit next to their grieving parents.
“I miss my boys. They fought. They fought so hard! They really did it, and them together. They watch over us. Our guardian angels,” Ivy said. “I’m grateful that we were there to be with them. We were able to talk to them. They heard us.”
Faced with such tragedy during this holiday, their mother said she still found something to be grateful for.
“Thank you for the best six and four years I’ve ever had. You’ve taught me so much, and I’ll be forever grateful,” she said.
As the family grapples with this Thanksgiving tragedy, the boys’ funerals are still on hold. The family raises money for a proper burial. Their GoFundMe can be found here.
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