By: Brittany McGregor
A story that has been trending on the Internet this week is a tale about a son’s love for his parents.
Amber Shoemake always wanted a child. After struggling to have a child, she finally was blessed with a healthy baby boy named Leland.
“He was smart from day one,” Shoemake reported to CBS news, talking about how he knew his ABC’s, numbers, colors, shapes by the time he was one-year-old. It was not shocking that he was frequently described as “intelligent.”
Leland enjoyed school, loved learning about World War II, reciting Adam Sandler movies and most of all playing in the dirt.
“I never imagined that would be the thing that would take him from me,” said Shoemake.
In August of 2015, Leland started saying he was having bad beaches. Shoemake proceeded to take him to a pediatrician in Williamson, Georgia, where they treated him for allergies.
At six-years-old, Leland contracted Balamuthia mandrillaris, a rare amoeba that causes an infection in the brain, spinal cord, which ultimately was likely caused by playing in the dirt.
During Labor Day weekend, he got worse; he began to vomit and then was taken to a local hospital. The doctors proceeded to perform a CT scan, believing the swelling behind his nasal cavity was caused by a sinus infection.
Even though Leland took medication, his health still continued to deteriorate.
After several CT scans and a spinal tap that showed inflammation, Shoemake asked the doctors to check for a parasite, the only thing that had not been tested for yet. The very next day, she got her answer.
“My boy was so extraordinary that, of course, it had to be something rare.” Shoemake said.
Treatment began for parasites. Two days later he became unresponsive and brain-dead.
“They repeated the brain test 12 hours later and confirmed our worst fear.” Shoemake said. “They came in and took him off the ventilator, and I watched my baby boy leave this world.”
After reading this, it’s almost like I felt this woman’s pain, almost like I was there with her during this emotional time.
This is where the story becomes amazing.
When Shoemake and her husband, Tim, returned home to pick out his burial clothes, they noticed a sheet of note-book paper sitting on a table that gave them a sign of hope.
They found a note from Leland that said, “Still with you; thank you mom and dad; love mom and dad; it’s a good day.”
Today, his parents will hold on to this sense of comfort found in that note as they continue there lives without him.
“He was the light of our life and the center of this family,” Shoemake said. “I count the days until I see his sweet face again and hear that beautiful voice.”
Until then she silently tells Leland, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
It’s terribly hard for parents to lose a child, especially when the child was never previously really sick. Finding a loving note from your child who just passed away would definitely make your grieving process a little easier.