At age 6, Leland Shoemake passed away while being treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for an amoebic brain infection. His parents were next to him at his bedside when he left this world. Upon the parents' return home to take Leland’s clothes for his burial, they discovered a letter written by Leland proving once again that he was unique and one of a kind.
The letter read: ‘Still with you. Thank you, Mom and Dad.’ ‘We were in shock and broke down as soon as we saw it,’ Amber, the mom, told ABC News. ‘He was amazing in life and still is after his passing. He touched everyone he met, and we are amazed at how many lives he’s touched since he left us.’
After finding the letter, Amber shared the story on her Facebook page, writing: ‘This is Amber. This will be my only post on here for a while. I was overprotective of Leland and tried my best to keep him safe. The one thing he loved most was playing in the dirt. I never imagined that would be the thing that would take him from me.’
Leland had been sick for nearly a month after contracting the amoeba. Doctors and family believe he got it while playing outside. ‘My whole life, this has been my only fear. No one should ever have to bury a child. I always said I hope it’s me that goes first bc [sic] I don't think I'm strong enough to handle something like this. It still doesn’t seem real to me,’ she wrote.
Amber finished her Facebook post by talking about the letter: ‘When Tim and I came home for the first time to get him clothes to be buried in, this is the note we found from him on the table in the living room. We have no idea when he wrote it, but you can tell he was always a special child. We will love you forever, Leland. Sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite!’
Before his death, the family set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the kid’s medical expenses and managed to raise over $14,000 thanks to their community’s donations. The money will now be used to pay for Leland's funeral service.
Besides leaving his parents behind, Leland is also outlived by his 1-year-old brother named Logan. May his soul rest in peace.