The parents of a 2-year-old boy who was fatally attacked by an alligator while playing on a beach at a Disney Resort have welcomed the arrival of a son. Matt and Melissa Graves, who lost their son, Lane, in the tragic 2016 incident, made their joyful announcement in a press release Wednesday.
“We are happy to announce the birth of our son, Christian Lane Graves. Although we know the pain of losing Lane will never go away, we feel God has blessed our family with this precious miracle of life,” they wrote.
The couple also have a daughter, Ella, noting in their release that they believe Lane continues to watch over his family from above.
“We know Ella and Christian have their brother, Lane, watching over them as their guardian angel,” the statement reads.
On June 14, 2016, Lane was dragged into the water by the predator while playing on the beach at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Following the incident, Lane’s father, Matt, said he had been attacked by a second alligator as he dived in to try and release his son from the reptile’s jaws. Sixteen hours later, rescue teams found Lane’s body in the area where he was dragged under — authorities believe that he was drowned by the animal.
Not long after his untimely death, Lane’s parents set up the The Lane Thomas Foundation, which helps cover travel expenses for the families of children who require organ transplants.
“Lane had a very special light about him. We promised him at his wake we would turn this tragedy into good for many families,” Matt Graves said at a press conference for the foundation in September 2017, according to the Associated Press.
The foundation, which states that its mission is to “give honor and light to Lane’s life,” marked the two-year anniversary of Lane’s death earlier this summer with an emotional Facebook post.
“LT, we love you up to heaven and down to the grass,” the post reads. “Hug, kiss, ugga mugga. We will fight every day to keep your memory alive and make a positive difference in your name.”
LT, we love you up to heaven and down to the grass. Hug, kiss, ugga mugga. We will fight every day to keep your memory alive and make a positive difference in your name.
Last year, Disney World dedicated a lighthouse statue honoring Lane’s life, which can be found nearby the Seven Seas Lagoon where the young boy died.
“We find comfort that so many people continue to remember our sweet boy, Lane,” his parents said in a statement to TODAY regarding the memorial, “and we believe the lighthouse stands as a beacon of hope and support for families in the depths of despair.”
Please continue to pray for this family as they celebrate a new life while still mourning the loss of their precious Lane.