Dearborn community rallies around family after 9-year-old boy dies in sledding crash

Ian Tlais in ICU for nearly 3 weeks

Community rallies around family of 9-year-old boy killed in sledding accident
Community rallies around family of 9-year-old boy killed in sledding accident

A 9-year-old boy with ties to Dearborn was killed in a sledding incident.

Ian Tlais was in the ICU for nearly three weeks before he was pronounced dead.

Around the world, people are rallying around his family -- including in Dearborn.

“He was brilliant. And it’s not because he’s my son,” Ian Tlais’ father Al Tlais said. “I am sure that any person in front of him feels he’s the most precious person on Earth.”

His family said that Ian Tlais had a magnetic personality and an infectious smile.

The family moved to Kentucky from Dearborn a few years ago. Last month, enough snow fell in their neighborhood for the family to go sledding.

“He’s sliding on, you know, it’s a small hill and there’s pretty much the only tree there,” Al Tlais said.

Ian Tlais was knocked unconscious when he hit the tree. He was rushed to a hospital.

“I totally understand what the doctors are saying. You know, his brain is not going to come back again,” Tlais said.

Ian Tlais was in the ICU for 19 days when the hospital decided to take him off life support. The family said that decision went against their Muslim faith.

His death led to an outpouring of support around the world, including in Dearborn. More than $65,000 has been raised for the family.

“Ali is going to stay in our memory forever. Like, he’s a true angel,” family friend Hosam Nassereddine said.

Ian Tlais was the eldest of four children. His 7-year-old sister has been struggling without her big brother, the family said.

“What Mary knows is when I was in the hospital that doctors were not able to help him. So God offered help,” Al Tlais said. “And the other night she said, she said -- ‘I have nobody to pray.’ I said, ‘You have me. I’m praying for you. Can you help me and your mom and your sisters. We can still pray for Ian.’”

Click here to visit the GoFundMe page.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.