Lane Thomas Graves was 2 years old when he was killed by an alligator at Disney World in June 2016.

According to earlier reports, while Lane was playing near the water’s edge of Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon, just outside the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, with his parents and sister, an alligator snatched him.

Posted by Lane Thomas Foundation on Saturday, September 17, 2016

His father, Matt Graves, gave his best effort to rescue him, but the alligator dragged Lane to the bottom of the lagoon, where he was found hours later.

Lane died as a result of a “crushing bite and drowning.”

Following the incident, Disney further secured the water’s edge by adding barriers and by placing signs warning its visitors of the dangers of snakes and alligators.

The Graves family ultimately decided not to sue Disney World but did receive a settlement for an undisclosed amount of money.

The 2-year-old boy dragged and drowned by an alligator at a beach in Walt Disney World was identified by authorities as…

Posted by WINK News on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

As a result of Lane’s death, the family started the Lane Thomas Foundation, which aims to provide financial support for families with children in need of organ transplants at Omaha health care facilities.

The symbol of the foundation is a lighthouse. According to the website, the lighthouse represents a beacon of hope:

The foundation was named Lane Thomas because if Lane was ever asked his name, he would say, “I’m Lane Thomas, I’m two.”

Lane was a beaming, spirited, and loving child who cared for his family deeply and creating The Lane Thomas Foundation is the best way to pass on the legacy he left on this world. Together with their daughter, Ella, Matt and Melissa have created The Lane Thomas Foundation to serve as a beacon of hope in the depths of despair, to create a strong base of support for families in crisis. The Graves family understand the importance of community support and the kindness of strangers when it is critical and The Lane Thomas Foundation is committed to standing behind those who need it the most.

In June, Disney revealed its plan to erect a statue of a lighthouse in Lane’s honor.

Monday night, that statue was unveiled. Standing outside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, just steps from where the tragedy took place, is a gold and blue statue with the foundation’s name on it:

In recognition of National Lighthouse Day, please see the lighthouse created to honor our loving boy Lane. ?

Posted by Lane Thomas Foundation on Monday, August 7, 2017

The family hopes the foundation “will continue to honor Lane and preserve his spirit.”

Leave a comment

We are excited to announce Dearly has joined forces with Mama’s Uncut. Helping Mom’s across the United States answer questions on life’s big challenges.