Tree to honor memory of young meningitis victim - WKRN News 2

Tree to honor memory of young meningitis victim

Posted: Updated: Oct 30, 2012 06:02 PM
Samuel McLeod, 9, died September 28 from a non-contagious form of bacterial meningitis. Samuel McLeod, 9, died September 28 from a non-contagious form of bacterial meningitis.
MT. JULIET, Tenn. -

Students at a local elementary school deal with the death of one of their own.

Nine year old Sam McLeod unexpectedly passed away at the end of September.

Teachers, classmates and family members gathered at West Elementary in Mount Juliet Tuesday afternoon to honor his memory.

The blazing Autumn maple tree is Sam McLeod's tree.

It sits in the middle of West Elementary School's playground, a few of its signature red leaves still hanging on.

"It makes me smile," said Amanda Lussier, Sam's teacher, "It makes me think of him. I think of him all the time when I walk in my room, but now I can think of him outside, as well, and it makes my heart smile."

Sam's sudden death at the end of September hit the school's community hard, especially his friends.

"When I heard that he passed away, I almost fell because it hurt my heart so bad," classmate George Salamy told Nashville's News 2.

Principal Becky Siever, added, "It is all of our nightmares and it's every parent's nightmare. We love all the children at West like our own and we loved Sam just like our own."

Siever told Nashville's News 2 what happened to Sam brought their community closer together, which is why they wanted to do something more permanent in his honor.

Both the tree and the plaque were donated from members of the community to the school.

The quote on the plaque "You've got a friend in me" is from one of Sam's favorite movies, Toy Story.

Lussier said Sam was always quoting movies, "He was always happy, he always had a story. If I didn't know what he was talking about, he was quoting from a movie, so I'd have to ask him, Sam what are you talking about? And he'd tell me the movie he was talking about."

As Sam's tree grows, new students will play here and enjoy shade on a hot summer day.

It will also be a place for reflection and memories, something the school hopes can last forever.

Lussier said, "I think it's kind of a way to move on. You can see it, you can think about it, you can also move forward."

Sam is survived by his parents and 14 year old brother.

Previous Stories:

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missing Manchester mom found in Colorado, on way home

    Missing Manchester mom found in Colorado, on way home

    Jul 28, 2014 06:42 PM2014-07-28 23:48:00 GMT
    According to the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Brooke Roberts, 30, was found safe over the weekend in Colorado.More >>
    According to the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Brooke Roberts, 30, was found safe over the weekend in Colorado.More >>
  • Knoxville meteorologist's response to viewer goes viral

    Knoxville meteorologist's response to viewer goes viral

    A Knoxville meteorologist responded to a viewer’s letter on Facebook because there was no return address, and the post went viral.More >>
    A Knoxville meteorologist responded to a viewer’s letter on Facebook because there was no return address, and the post went viral.More >>
  • FL man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    FL man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-07-27 15:39:37 GMT
    Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.
    A Lakeland man has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.Jerry Ashley is still grieving over the passing of his wife Darlene, who died from an aneurysm last month at the age of 48.His loss has been compounded by thieves, who broke into his Lakeland home this week.Ashley has a lot of fond memories of his wife, and many of those memories are stored in a computer that was stolen from his home, now he taking an u...More >>
    A Lakeland man has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.Jerry Ashley is still grieving over the passing of his wife Darlene, who died from an aneurysm last month at the age of 48.His loss has been compounded by thieves, who broke into his Lakeland home this week.Ashley has a lot of fond memories of his wife, and many of those memories are stored in a computer that was stolen from his home, now he taking an u...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

441 Murfreesboro Road Nashville, TN 37210

Telephone: 615.369.7222
Fax: 615.369.7329
Email: news@wkrn.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Nashville, LLC. A Media General Company.