An Old Fashioned Castle Raisin'

by Nick Rogers, TX Citizen

There is something about personal tragedy that propels some people forward to the beneļ¬t of others.

In 2012, Lauren and Colby Clawson lost their infant son, Callen. Today, the couple wants to provide a haven for children and adults with disabilities.

Lauren had developed complications while pregnant, and oxygen was cutoff to Callen, causing brain damage. The prognosis was not good.

“The doctors weren’t expecting him to live,” she said. “He made it through birth and stayed in the NICU for about a month. The doctors thought he wouldn’t be able to do anything other than lie there, unable to eat or move.”

But neither the parents nor Callen were ready to give in.

“We were very fortunate to have the therapist we had, who worked with him weekly while I worked with him daily,” Lauren said. “He got to where he could roll over and hold his head up and eating from a bottle.”

Despite Callen’s enormous progress, there were, in the end, too many problems to overcome.“

His brain damage caused him to have seizures,” Lauren said. “At about 5 a.m. one morning, he had a seizure and asphyxiated. He passed away.”

The Clawson’s moment of clarity came after Callen’s funeral in Round Rock.

“My sister took me to the Play All-Abilities Park in Round Rock, where we saw a 4-year-old playing with a child who had Downs Syndrome,” Lauren said. “Never once did that 4-year-old see any difference between them. To those two kids, they were just superheroes out to save the world. It was amazing to see. My husband and I agreed that this park was something we need to do.”

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