Young boy who drowned in Calgary pond identified
Officials have confirmed that a five-year-old boy who was found unresponsive in a body of water in the northeast community of Saddle Ridge on Friday evening has died.
CTV Calgary has learned that the boy's name was Raheel Uddin, born August 19, 2012.
Emergency crews were called to the scene, near the intersection of 60 Street and 88 Avenue N.E., at about 5:00 p.m. for reports of a missing child.
Raheel was soon found floating in a nearby pond and was rushed to the Peter Lougheed Centre for treatment.
EMS said he was in critical life threatening condition and had since stabilized once he’d reached the hospital.
Unfortunately Raheel died in hospital a short time later.
Family members came out on Saturday to the pond where Raheel was found and say they are overcome with grief.
His uncle Anisul Kabir says the whole community had gotten together to help find him when he was missing.
"Everybody was out searching for him. They help us a lot."
Raheel's parents, Rozina Mina and Mohammad Rashad Uddin revealed that their son had Autism, suffered from seizures and could not speak.
"Because he was a special needs child, I quit my job and I started to stay home just to be with him all the time," said Rozina. "He is like my breath. I cannot breathe without him."
She says Raheel communicated by touching or with some noises that he could make.
"He was a very fun loving boy and he loved going out. Almost every day we went out to the park."
Because he had special needs, Rozina said that she cherished every milestone, like when he learned to use the toilet earlier this year.
"Recently he started wearing regular pants and going to the washroom. That was a big achievement for me after six months."
Raheel was at home with his family on Friday and when they realized he was gone they immediately called 911.
The realization he is gone is very difficult for his mother.
"For me, I feel like he is still at school. I can't say he's passed. To me, he is still alive."
Both of his parents say the city should put something in place to prevent children from going near the water.
"We have so many Autistic kids in this community," Rozina said. "The city should have a barrier for these open lakes. I cannot get my son back but I don't want anyone else to lose their children."
Rashad says the city needs to take care of all ponds, not just the one where his son died.
"I want the city to protect all Calgary ponds. This is my request, please."
Police are still investigating the circumstances that led to the boy going into the water.