Waylon and his family could use your help prayers

This cute little fellow, Waylon Saunders, had a tragic accident recently, falling into an outdoor pool. He will have a long road to recovery, so a GoFundMe account has been set up to help out.

By Michael Bennett
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Ridgetown Independent

A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist Garth Saunders – who has family in Ridgetown – and Gillian Burnett in paying for expenses while their toddler recovers from a near drowning.

Waylon Saunders, 20 months old, is back at home after being hospitalized in Victoria Hospital in London after he fell into an outdoor pool at a home daycare in Petrolia.

Waylon was underwater for approximately five minutes before he was pulled out of the pool.

Firefighters and paramedics immediately performed CPR on Waylon before rushing him to the Petrolia hospital, where the Emergency Room team took turns performing compressions for over three hours Thanks to the work of the ER staff, Waylon regained a heartbeat. He was transferred to Victoria Hospital, where he was put on a ventilator and placed into a medically induced coma.

“Waylon is a little fighter. Against many odds, he survived the night,” said Liana Gammage, as doctors prepared the family for the worst.

Waylon is the great-grandson of Rita Saunders, grandson of Cari Saunders and grandnephew of Paul and Liana Gammage, all of Ridgetown.

Waylon remained in the Critical Care Unit until he emerged from the coma and began breathing on his own.

While he continues his miraculous progression, Waylon still has a long road to recovery while his parents face a significant financial burden.

“They are working parents who give everything they have to their children,” Liana said.

She said Gillian and Garth are fortunate to have family and friends from their hometown of Brigden and here in town who have made the trip to London, despite the inclement weather, to provide basic needs such as clothes and toiletries.

“Although we know Waylon is the strongest 20-month-old out there, it is still impossible for doctors to predict the outcome,” stated Liana. “Yet, we all know that whatever the outcome, the road ahead will be a long one. “He is going to require an extraordinary amount of extra care, which his amazing parents will give him at the sacrifice of themselves.”

The family are hoping the community can offer support.

““We are reaching out to friends and the community as we hope to ease some of the burden on these wonderful parents in such tragic circumstances,” Liana said.

The Go Fund Me account can be found at gofund.me/82d52b3c and type in ‘Waylon Saunders’ in the search window.

More than $20,000 has already been raised.

“We are beyond thankful for the amazing teams of doctors and nurses at both hospitals, and we thank all of you for anything you can do to help,” said Liana.

A Highland Kisses and Waylon Wishes fund-raiser is being conducted at Highland Farms on Bridgen Line, as people can get their picture taken cuddling with a baby calf for a donation.

“We are beyond thankful for the amazing teams of doctors and nurses at both hospitals, and we thank all of you for anything you can do to help,” said Liana. “We are praying for Waylon’s recovery.”



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