SANDWICH – Some great news for a family on Cape Cod after a harrowing summer. Five-year-old Zohaib Malik-Mohammed, who’s been nicknamed “little Z” is finally back home after a 12-week recovery at Boston hospitals.
The boy nearly drowned in Snake Pond in Sandwich in June. It happened during another child’s birthday party, prompting other parents there to jump in and help. They called 9-1-1 and performed CPR until police and EMTs arrived.
“It’s a miracle,” said Danielle Hairston, who had just finished training for her lifeguard certification a week before. “I didn’t think that this day would come, I really didn’t,” she said through tears. “I looked at him and I just thought it could have been any one of our kids.”
The days that followed were tough. There were vigils as the boy went through repeated surgeries for months.
Friday, a group of motorcycle riders led by State Representative Steven Xiarhos met his family at the Sagamore Bridge on the way from the hospital in Boston to bring the boy home. They journeyed down Route 6A to the Sandwich Public Safety Complex, where Little Z’s family stepped out of their car to say hello to a crowd of first responders, staff from the boy’s school, and people who were at the pond the day he went under water.
“He’s just learning to walk a little bit,” said his father Mubashir Malik. “It’s going to be a long road ahead of recovery,” he said.
But Little Z was smiling and giggling, and even grabbed the WBZ-TV microphone at one point. “Hello everybody” he announced, punching a balloon. Before handing the microphone back, he added “thank you!”