South Lyon mother coping with son's death gets support for memorial

Mothers across America have raised nearly $15,000 for memorial

SOUTH LYON, Mich. - A mother in South Lyon dealing with the heartache of losing her 6-year-old son is getting support from complete strangers all across the country.

From the beginning, his mother said, Jonathan Shigley was a miracle.

"He was everything to us. My husband and I wanted kids, and we were blessed with him," said Laura Shigley. "He was a 25-week preemie, weighing 1 pound 12 ounces."

The little boy from South Lyon had cerebral palsy.

"He went through so many obstacles in life but always had a smile on his face," said Laura Shigley. "He touched so many people with his smile."

But Valentine's Day, little Jonathan's big smile went away. He began to have uncontrollable tremors, and two weeks later, the 6-year-old died.

Laura Shigley said doctors told the family Jonathan's case was 1 in a billion.

"To not have that answer of why he passed away, the doctors didn't know," said Laura Shigley. "Losing him, we lost part of us."

The Shigleys wanted to remember their little boy with a special monument. Laura Shigley posted a picture of it on Facebook and got a response she never imagined.

"I buy, sale, trade on Facebook for my daughter. It's called Matilda Jane," said Shigley. "They saw the pic of what we wanted and said they wanted to do something," said another.

So far, mothers across America have raised nearly $15,000. Local 4 spoke by phone with Carli Karluk, who started the fundraiser.

"Every one is a mom, and none of us can imagine that kind of loss," said Karluk.

"It's like this virtual group hug from them," said Laura Shigley. "Knowing Jonathan touched so many people with his smile."

With the help of complete strangers miles and miles away, Jonathan will be remembered with the memorial of a little boy dressed in his favorite blue jeans rising from his wheelchair, reaching towards the heavens.

"He's free. No longer in a wheelchair; he can use his legs," said Laura Shigley.

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