Fundraiser held for toddler who is battling for his life

Who wouldn’t love to cuddle with a Highland calf while also supporting a Waylon Saunders and his family has he recovers from a horrible accident. A fundraiser, Highland Kisses and Waylon Wishes, was held Sunday, Feb. 5 at Janzen Homestead and Highlands on Brigden Road near Wilkesport.

“I have little kids, one is just two months older than Waylon,” said Meranda Janzen, owner of Janzen Homestead and Highlands. She couldn’t imagine what his parents are going through and she wanted to help the family during this trying time.

The 20-month-old youngster from the Mooretown area was submerged in the icy water of a outdoor pool in Petrolia for at least five minutes before being rescued on Jan. 24. Petrolia and North Enniskillen Fire Department were first on the scene and he was taken to Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital in Petrolia before being transferred to Victoria Hospital in London. The little boy was only given a 10 percent chance of survival, but has defied those odds and is continuing to improve.

Janzen said Waylon and his parents, Gillian Burnett and Garth Saunders have visited her farm in the past. For a donation, people who cuddle with a couple of Highland calves and get their photo taken. There was also a bake sale, raffle, airbrush tattoos for kids or had a chance to buy a hot dog.

The goal is to raise $3,000 and they had already raised over that amount even before the fundraiser was over, said Janzen. She was impressed with the support the fundraiser received. All proceeds are going directly to the Waylon’s family.

Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent