Walt Disney World erects lighthouse memorial for 2-year-old boy of Christian family killed by alligator at Seven Seas Lagoon

Lane Graves, 2, passed away after an alligator dragged him underwater near the Disney resort in Orlando, Florida.Orange County Sheriff's Department

A lighthouse memorial has been set up at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida in memory of a two-year-old boy who was dragged into the water at the Seven Seas Lagoon last summer. 

Lane Graves was vacationing at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Orlando with his family when he was snatched by the alligator as he waded in the water. 

Despite the desperate efforts of his father, Matt Graves, and the onsite lifeguards, the little boy could not be saved.

At the time, the Graves family received the support of a priest as they received the shattering news and a special service was later held for Lane at the family's church, St Patrick's in Elkhorn, Nebraska, which also received donations on their behalf. 

In a statement, the family said they had decided against pursuing a wrongful death suit against Disney and instead set up the Lane Thomas Foundation in memory of their son, saying they are 'solely focused on the future health of our family.' 

The foundation provides financial support to cover the non-medical expenses of family with children who are in need of life-saving organ transplants in Omaha. 

The Seven Seas Lagoon had signage at the time of Lane's death saying 'No swimming.'  Since the tragic event, Disney World has installed protective fencing around the lagoon and said it would be working on 'permanent, long-term solutions at our beaches.'  

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission later found the alligator that killed Lane and put the animal down.

More News in US