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A Mom Says She Found A Note From Her Son After He Died Telling Her He's "Still With" Her

Leland Shumake was infected with a rare amoeba after playing outside.

Posted on September 30, 2015, at 12:07 p.m. ET

A couple whose 6-year-old son died suddenly after contracting an infection says they found an incredibly moving note from him after he passed away.

When Amber Shumake and her husband, Tim, went home to pick up clothes for Leland's burial, they say they found a note on the table her child had written. It said, "Still with you, thank you Mom and Dad... [it's a] good day."

Facebook: PrayersforLeland

Shumake said she is not sure where the note came from.

"We have no idea when he wrote it but you can tell he was always a special child. We will love you forever Leland," she wrote on Facebook.

Shumake, who is from Williamson, Georgia, told BuzzFeed News that her son Leland was an intelligent and amazing little boy. "He was the light of our life and the center of this family," she wrote on Facebook.

A few weeks ago, Leland started complaining of headaches. He was treated for allergies by a doctor, but he soon started throwing up.

His parents took him to a children's hospital in Atlanta, and he was hospitalized. Doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong, so they put him on multiple medications.

"I sat by his bedside every day and every night trying to figure it out myself," his mom said.

Eventually, doctors told the family their son had meningitis.

"He then got way worse. Stopped communicating as much, said his vision was completely gone, had to have a drain put in one side of his head to relieve the pressure and the fluid," Shumake said.

Shumake said she asked doctors to test her son for an amoeba. He came back positive for Balamuthia, a rare infection that is usually fatal. "I was devastated," Shumake said.


The infection is found in dust and soil and usually enters the body through a cut in the skin, according to the CDC.

Only a few people have ever survived the infection, and there is no known way to prevent it.

Doctors began treating the infection, but Leland died from the disease just a few days later.

"From the beginning I told them he loved to play in the dirt," Shumake said. "It is just so rare they never thought that was it. My boy was so extraordinary that of course it had to be something rare."

After Shumake shared the note on Facebook, his story was picked up by multiple national media outlets.

Shumake said the family has been overwhelmed by the support they have received.

"We knew he was special and everyone he met fell in love with him but we never expected him to touch people globally," she said.