Boy, 7, dies after being found unresponsive in pond

Child was taken off life support after 5 days in the hospital

By: Jonathan Shead | Novi Note | Published September 8, 2021

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes


NOVI — A 7-year-old boy died Aug. 31, five days after his father found him unresponsive in a pond in the 50000 block of Nine Mile Road during the afternoon Aug. 26.

The father immediately began administering CPR to his son, but after spending almost a week in critical condition at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, the boy was taken off life support.

“He was taken off life support (Aug. 31). Last Tuesday, he passed away,” Novi Police Department Detective Shawn Penzak said Sept. 7. “He was an organ donor, so the decision was made to kind of give the gift of life from the family.”

After further investigation, the Novi Police Department determined that the incident was an accident.

“Our investigation indicates that it was unfortunately 100% an accident,” Penzak said. “There’s no sign of any foul play.”

The pond was one that the boy and his family had used for swimming in the past.

“It was not unusual for him to swim or play in the pond,” Penzak added.

City police officers and firefighters responded to the scene between Garfield and Napier roads after receiving the emergency call at approximately 4:42 p.m. Aug. 26 and instantly took over providing emergency medical services to the boy, who was transported to Ascension Providence Hospital in Novi for evaluation and treatment.

The child was then airlifted to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for further treatment.

Penzak underscored the importance of the father knowing CPR.

“That’s the key. To have any chance at any type of lifesaving situation, seconds count, not just minutes. That the father was able to start CPR, and then officers and paramedics arrived on scene and were able to continue it, that gives us the best chance to have a positive outcome,” he said Aug. 30.

Penzak hopes residents will have family members of all ages trained in CPR.

“You never know when an incident may come up where you may have to spring into action, whether it’s your own family member or another,” he added. “It’s a very important lifesaving skill.”

For more information, contact the Novi Police Department at (248) 348-7100.