Man dies trying to save granddaughter who wandered onto frozen pond while following her dogs

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On Saturday morning, a man died while trying to save his 10-year-old granddaughter, who had fallen through the ice on a pond in Illinois. The child, Ma’Lyiah White, ventured onto the ice after her dogs walked onto the pond’s frozen surface. But the ice was not strong enough to hold them, and they all plunged into the frigid water.

Ma’Lyiah’s sister, who was with her when tragedy struck, ran to get help from her grandfathers, Bill Croy and Carlos Serafin. What happened next is detailed in a fundraiser for the family:

Carlos jumped into the pond with a broom stick to try and save Ma’Lyiah but she was already under the ice and he also got sucked under. Bill busted the ice to try and get to them both but couldn’t find them. The dogs were also in the pond trying to rescue all.

Carlos, and a dog named Horchata, passed away and the little girl was left in critical condition. The child’s initial status was posted to the fundraiser:

As of right now Ma’Lyiah is not showing any brain activity only seizures. Her heart and lungs are working but we are praying for a miracle.

Since the initial posting, updates have been made showing that some of the swelling in the little girl’s body is going down and she is showing a few promising signs of improvement, but she is not out of danger yet. You can follow Ma’Lyiah’s progress at this link to the family’s GoFundMe fundraiser.

The child’s aunt, Amanda Beals, told the Herald-Review, that Carlos was a hero:

“And we as a family can’t stress enough how much Carlos was a hero and how much he really loved his family and would do anything for them.”

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