Tragic Kayden Fleck died after being airlifted to a Belfast hospital following a fall into the Braid River.
Darrel and Leanne Fleck have mourned their precious son (pictured below right.)
The heartbroken parents released a statement, thanking members of the community and rescue volunteers for their help and support.
The Ballymena natives remembered their boy, describing him as their "happy-go-lucky" son who "just melted your heart".
They also fondly recalled him as "your average wee boy" who was like "the two musketeers" with his twin brother Jayden (pictured below left.)
Kayden (5) was recovered from the Braid River on Saturday afternoon in a major multi-agency rescue operation that involved the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Community Rescue Service Volunteers, an A&E crew, and a doctor.
After falling in, the youth was swept down-course in the fast flowing river for more than four miles before he was able to be pulled out.
Management at the Harryville Primary School in Ballymena, where Kayden was a pupil, have paid tribute to him on their Facebook account.
"Please remember the McGowan family in your thoughts and prayers at this very sad time as they mourn the loss of wee Kayden."
(McGowan being Leanne's maiden name.)
"The whole school community is remembering you at this sad time," they wrote.
To donate to the school's GoFundMe initiative to help cover funeral costs, see here.