Have you ever looked at your child and wondered how they can be so amazing? Some children are just wise beyond their years. Leland Shoemake was one of those children. Sadly, he died on September 25, 2015. He has contracted meningitis from an ameba (Balamuthia mandrillaris). Amber, Leland’s mom, believes he got the deadly infection playing outside.
After Leland had passed, his parents returned home and found the note he had left for them. The note was in the living room and Tim, Leland’s dad, found it. The moment he read the note, he cried. Here is the note – read it, and you will cry too.
Leland was known for leaving little notes for his parents, this one was clearly very different.
Amber and Tim held onto each other and cried after reading their son’s note. Balamuthia infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a rare and often fatal condition. The Balamuthia amebas live in the soil. Playing in dirt, gardening, or just breathing in the soil where the amebas live increases your chance of infection.
No one is immune – these amebas can infect anyone. Any open wound can be a way into the body. Some symptoms of infection include nausea, vomiting, headaches, difficulty walking and talking. The treatment is the use of several drugs. According to the CDC, the correct diagnosis is made just before the patient dies.
This makes it hard for doctors to find the right combination of drugs to treat it properly.
The Leland Shoemake Foundation was set up to spread awareness about this deadly ameba. Please spread the word.