Drowning Victim's Family Hopes To Build Memorial Playground

By: Stephanie Diffin Email
By: Stephanie Diffin Email

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August 16, 2010

A 5-year-old boy's mother makes a plea in his memory, weeks after he drowned in a neighbor's pond. Mason Medlam was autistic. He drowned after wandering away from his home, near Colwich. Now his family is asking the Colwich City Council for permission to build a playground in his memory. It would give children like Mason the chance to play and stay safe.

"If you stop to think about how terrible it is to not have him, it's overwhelming," said Sheila Medlam, Mason's mother.

So Sheila says she isn't stopping. Instead, she's working to keep the memory of Mason alive.

"He just had a brilliant smile, and he loved you, the second that he met you," said Sheila. "When he was diagnosed as autistic our world fell apart, but I couldn't have asked for a better son."

Now, Sheila's hoping a specially-designed playground in Colwich's new part will give children like Mason the chance to run around freely and safely. Because Sheila says running was something he loved to do.

"The first real freedom that he got was when we moved out to the farm. And part of me wishes we never would have made that move. But another part of me knows that he loved it," said Sheila.

The proposed playground would have tall fences on each side, so there was no fear of children getting out. It would also include a garden, water area, and memorial for Mason. Colwich city leaders say they are planning on putting a playground in the park, and they're open to suggestions.

"She had a terrible tragedy, and this could be a good opportunity for a memorial," said Colwich city council member and Parks Director, Andy Buessing.

It could also give others the chance to learn about the little boy who always smiled, and gave great hugs.

"We used to say, there was nothing better than a Mason Medlam hug, and there wasn't," said Sheila.

You can help build the playground by donating to the Mason Allen Medlam Foundation. The account is set up at Cessna Credit Union. You can find more information by clicking here.


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