Georgia toddler dies of brain trauma six days after being pulled unconscious from the Florida Keys pool on her second birthday
- Leland Rudeen drowned in a swimming pool in Marathon, Florida, on the day of her second birthday on April 9
- Leland and her parents had traveled from their Georgia home to the Florida Keys for a vacation and rented a house with a pool
- Authorities say the adults briefly lost sight of Leland and found her unconscious in the pool
- Toddler was taken to a Miami hospital with an airlift, where MRI tests showed extensive brain damage
- After Leland’s death Thursday, her parents donated her organs to help save the lives of six other children
A Georgia toddler vacationing in Florida with her family to celebrate her second birthday was found unconscious in a swimming pool last week and died of severe brain trauma six days later.
Leland Rudeen, of Cumming, Georgia, was pronounced dead on Thursday, shortly after an MRI test revealed extensive brain damage.
“Shortly after the devastating MRI results, as we tried to wrap our heads around some tough decisions ahead, Leland took the choice off and her painless decline began,” the girl’s family said on Facebook. “Our little princess is resting now.”
Leland Rudeen, 2, died in a Miami hospital on Thursday, six days after drowning in a swimming pool
Agents were called to the rental home on Coco Plum Drive in Marathon, Florida on April 9 after receiving a report about an unresponsive child.
Benjamin and Kristan Rudeen, Leland’s parents, rented a house in Marathon in the Florida Keys when tragedy struck on April 9, their daughter Leland’s second birthday.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the adults briefly lost sight of Leland and found her in the on-site pool a short while later.
Agents were called to the 100 block of Coco Plum Drive just before 11am for a report of an unresponsive child.
Leland was initially taken to Fisherman’s Hospital in Marathon and later transferred to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami for further treatment.
Leland ended up in the pool on the day of her second birthday. The toddler and her parents, including father Benjamin Rudeen (right), had traveled from their Georgia home to the Florida Keys for a vacation
Law enforcement officials said no foul play was suspected in the incident.
On Tuesday, the family released an update on Leland’s condition on Facebook and GoFundMe, saying that the two-year-old had swelling in her brain, but still “fought really hard.”
A relative who wrote on behalf of the parents: “She may or may not wake up. She does not respond to stimuli. Smile. To walk. To talk. Laugh. Or eat again. She will need to have a feeding tube in her stomach and may or may not be able to breathe on her own. She must not open her eyes. ‘
Two days later, the family announced that Leland had died. The toddler’s parents have decided to donate her organs to help save the lives of other children.
Leland sustained a brain injury and could not be rescued. When she died, she helped save the lives of six other children by becoming an organ donor
“She was such a smart, cheerful girl and loved by everyone she met,” the statement read. Despite our massive loss, we have chosen to do well with what happened and will give up to 6 babies a chance to live thanks to our most precious angel.
She was always very caring and always wanted to help others. It only seems right that with her death we give her the opportunity to save others. ‘
More than $ 50,000 has been raised for Leland’s family, which they said would help them cover her medical expenses and organize a memorial service after she transported her body back to Georgia.
“We are speechless at the overwhelming outpouring of love and support and are sincerely grateful to everyone,” said the parents.