6-year-old Leland Shoemake contracted a free-living amoeba, Balamuthia Mandrillaris, which caused severe infection to his brain and spinal cord. The amoeba can enter your skin through contact with dirt on a cut or scrape:
Since Leland loved playing in the dirt, doctors believe this is how Leland contracted the infection. Leland fought hard for his life, but on September 25, 2015, he passed away. When his devastated parents, Amber and Tim, returned home from the hospital for the first time, they were about to perform the gut-wrenching task of picking out clothing for his burial. That’s when they spotted a note sitting on the table in their living room. Leland had left them a handwritten note in a spiral-bound notebook. When Amber read the words, she instantly broke down in tears…
The note read: Stil with you – Thank you mom and dad – love mom and dad – Good buy [sic]
Leland must have understood that he was not going to be around much longer and his innocence allowed him to accept his death but with remarkable wisdom and compassion for his parents and how they would fare without him. There are not many 6-year-olds who would have the foresight to comfort their grieving parents and to this we say wow. Bless the child, and his parents, and eternal rest grant unto him. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.
Leland and the Shoemake family are in our prayers.