In a follow-up to a report earlier this week, it is with sadness we report that the 6-year-old Leland Shoemake has lost his battle with the rare, amoebic infection, Balamuthia mandrillaris in a Atlanta hospital yesterday.
On Friday evening, the news was posted on the Prayers for Leland Facebook page: Today sweet Leland went to be with the Lord. He fought so hard, but ultimately the sickness was too much for his body to handle. The family is heartbroken and filled with sorrow, and we respectfully ask that you allow them time to grieve. Please continue to pray for the them.
After the news of Leland’s death was announced, the prayers and condolences poured in from the Facebook community, all in this context: I’m so very sorry for your loss. May he be with you every day with that perfect smile, smiling on you from heaven. I pray that you have the strength you need every day to continue on. My heart is broken for you and your family.
According to his mother, it is believed that her son contracted the lethal amoeba while playing in the dirt.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says Balamuthia infection is very rare. The Balamuthia amoebas can infect the skin, sinuses, brain and other organs of the body. The disease might appear mild at first but can become more severe over weeks to several months. Often the disease is fatal, with a death rate of more than 95%.
RIP Leland and may God bless the parents, family and friends and help them deal with this tragic loss.