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Little Boy Loses Both Parents during Highland Park Tragedy, Still Believes They Are Alive

Ayesha Muhammad
Jul 12, 2022
08:00 A.M.

In an unimaginably tragic turn of events, a toddler lost both his parents during the Fourth of July parade. While his whole world was turned topsy-turvy in a matter of seconds, somewhere in his little heart, he still believed that his mom and dad were okay.

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A parent's loving embrace is nothing less than a child's haven. No matter what happens, a kid knows they can always go running to their moms and dads, for it's where they will always feel loved, protected, and understood.

There's no way to measure a parent's unconditional and never-ending love for their offspring because it can only be felt. When needed, these selfless humans wouldn't think twice before putting their own life on the line for their children's safety. Today's story sheds light on a similar scenario.

Tom Brooks and his son Morgan. | Source: youtube.com/Inside Edition

Tom Brooks and his son Morgan. | Source: youtube.com/Inside Edition

THE FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS

Every year, July 4 is celebrated with sheer patriotism, zeal, and unmatched vigor, with many attending the independence day celebrations with their family and friends. This federal holiday is marked by many patriotic events and activities, including carnivals, firework shows, festivals, and parades.

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According to Michael, Irina was his everything because she was his only child and "the love of his life."

The McCarthy family also looked forward to being a part of the independence day celebrations. Kevin and Irina McCarthy were excited to attend the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, with their little son, Aiden McCarthy.

Dana and Greg Ring. | Source: youtube.com/CBS Chicago

Dana and Greg Ring. | Source: youtube.com/CBS Chicago

AN UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY

But what the McCarthys and other parade-goers didn't know was that a life-altering, soul-crushing tragedy would soon overshadow their moment of happiness, and everything they once knew would change most unexpectedly.

Aiden lost his loving mom and dad in the Highland Park tragedy that claimed the lives of seven people in total. According to sources, Lauren Silva was out for breakfast with her boyfriend, Tom Brooks, and his son, Morgan, when she saw Aiden's parents face down.

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Both Brooks and Morgan were said to have rescued the little boy from the carnage, and Silva said she was relieved to see Aiden in her boyfriend's arms.

A LITTLE ONE'S HOPE

Per CBS Chicago, another couple scooped up little Aiden from Silva and Brooks and took him to safety. Parade-goers Dana and Greg Ring recalled taking care of little Aiden, who they said wasn't injured, and stayed with them for some time. Dana recounted details of her brief conversation with Aiden:

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"Every time I tried to ask him what his name was, the response he gave to me was, 'Mama, Dada come get me soon. Mommy's car come to get me soon.'"

REUNITED WITH HIS FAMILY

In another part of the city, Aiden's maternal grandfather, Michael Levberg, got the news of what happened at the parade. Soon afterward, he received a piece of heart-shattering news. Michael recollected:

"A neighbor passed by, she showed me the picture, it was Aiden. I picked him up at the police station."

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A local detective was said to have found Aiden with the Ring family and eventually helped reunite him with his grandpa, Michael. When little Aiden was reunited with his grandfather at the Highland Park police station, he said, "Mommy and Daddy are coming soon."

A FATHER'S SACRIFICE

Despite the heart-rending tragedy, the toddler still believed that his mom and dad were alive and would come and wrap him in their warm embrace. He hoped his parents would continue to love and protect him as they always did. Little did he know that he would never see them again.

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A heartbroken Michael shared that Aiden's father died while protecting his son. Kevin was said to have shielded his sweet boy with his body, a selfless act that touched the hearts of millions who heard about the family's story.

According to Michael, Irina was his everything because she was his only child and "the love of his life." She was born in Russia and settled in Chicago with her immigrant parents, Michael and Nina Levberg. She worked as a waitress and went to Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

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A HAPPY FAMILY

Irina got her bachelor's in finance from DePaul University and landed a job in digital marketing in the pharmaceutical industry. Michael said she met Kevin, who worked for a gene therapy setup, through her job in pharmaceuticals.

The grief-stricken grandpa revealed that photos of his grandson began making rounds online after the tragic incident, where he was seen walking alone in the street. He also noted how Irina and Kevin were excited about attending the parade with Aiden:

“They were crazy about their child. They were planning two.”

SUPPORTING THE LITTLE BOY

Following the mass shooting, a crowdfunding campaign was launched for the two-and-a-half-year-old Aiden, whose mom, Irina, 35, and dad, Kevin, 37, both died tragically. A part of the message on the GoFundMe page read:

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“At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents. He will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan.”

More than $3 million have been raised for the little boy to date, who will be taken care of by his maternal grandparents. Even though Aiden lost his loving parents most unexpectedly, the sacrifice his father made to save his life will be remembered forever.

Kevin's never-ending love for his son was evident from the fact that he didn't hesitate to risk his own life to ensure the survival of his sweet boy. We hope that Aiden grows into a responsible and kind young man with a great mission and respect for his parents' sacrifice.

Please share this story with your family and friends and help support this little boy.

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