A fundraiser was started for the family of a toddler who died after being found unresponsive at a daycare center in Island Lake, in what family friends called “a parent’s worst nightmare.”
The Island Lake Police Department responded around 8:46 a.m. on April 25 to Lots of Tots ChildCare, 202 West Burnett Road in Island Lake.
Island Lake Police Chief Jennifer Paulus said officers received a 911 call for an unresponsive toddler inside the facility.
Officers arrived to find a 23-month-old boy, who is an Island Lake resident, that was unresponsive and not breathing.
A staff member was performing CPR on the child and officers took over lifesaving efforts, Paulus said.
The Wauconda Fire Department arrived and rushed the child to Northwestern Medicine Hospital in McHenry.
The toddler was later transferred to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
The boy was pronounced dead around 8:50 a.m. Saturday.
An autopsy was performed on Monday by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The medical examiner’s office identified the child as Calum Wells Dudakiw-Warrick.
The forensic pathology results are still pending and the cause and manner of death have not been officially determined.
The child’s organs were donated to Gift of Hope, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Paulus told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that the police department does not suspect the death to be a homicide.
Detectives learned the toddler had been found with his neck laying on the edge of a toy bin.
Detectives and the medical examiner are investigating to determine whether Dudakiw-Warrick’s death was accidental or if the child suffered some sort of medical issue.
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is assisting in the investigation.
“Our hearts are broken and our deepest condolences go out to the grieving family of one of our very own Island Lake residents,” Paulus said.
Paulus said the police department has not been called to the daycare before for any type of abuse or neglect reports involving the facility itself.
Over 350 donors have raised over $27,000 for the family as of Friday, nearly reaching a $30,000 fundraising goal.
Cary resident Nichole Felton, who is a family friend, said the unexpected death is an “unimaginable loss that no parent could prepare for and should never have to endure.”
“Our dear friends Felicia and John Paul are experiencing a parents worst nightmare as they grieve the unexpected and tragic loss of their sweet almost 2 year old son Calum,” Felton said.
Felton said the couple’s day started normally with “sweet smiles and squishy hugs” before they later received the “worst phone call any parent could receive.”
An obituary for Dudakiw-Warrick said the boy was a “loving, funny, and spirited young boy” who “brought immense joy and laughter to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.”
A celebration of life is scheduled for 12-5 p.m. on May 20 at Justen Funeral Home in McHenry.