Hundreds Say Goodbye To 2 Year Old Addison Lanham
Gaston County, NC - Guardians of the Children Gastonia President Phillip Middleton joins hands with his fellow biker/child advocates and prays, “Here we are again, Lord. We're giving you one of your angels."
The emotional prayer circle formed outside Ragan Wesleyan Church before family, friends and total strangers gathered in a standing room only crowd to remember a Gaston County little girl.
Two year old Addison Lanham died July 21th after police say an untreated MRSA infection spread to her blood stream. They say she also suffered an untreated broken leg.
Family members say they called DSS and 32 year old Shanna Lanham's probation officer repeatedly over her daughter's care, but they are still stunned by Addison's loss.
Scott Greene is a family member and the Funeral Director at Greene Funeral Home. He says, “Still shock, disbelief, anger..."
Wearing purple ribbons, one of Addison's favorite colors, the family filed out of the church. They were soon followed by the tiny casket.
Community members offered support and called Addison's death tragic and preventable.
Lisa Wells is a Gastonia resident, “They can't protect themselves. They need everybody in the community to protect them and if what we do gets the word out there to them then our mission is accomplished."
Addison is remembered as a bright, happy little girl who was easy to love.
Gastonia resident Sarah Wellman regularly saw Addison at the convenience store where she works, “She loved to talk, loved to smile, loved candy."
At the grave side the family laid pink roses on Addison's white casket. Then, in a powerful tribute, they released pink balloons to the sky.
Meanwhile the community called for more prevention & awareness of child abuse and neglect.
Middleton says, “We just can't have this going on. We've got to put a stop to it."
Police have charged Shanna Lanham with felony child abuse and involuntary manslaughter.
Her boyfriend, Jason Wells is also behind bars on charges including involuntary manslaughter, felony child abuse and failing to register as a sex offender.
Gaston police are investigating whether the child was sexually assaulted.
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