A toddler from Georgia vacationing with her family in Florida to celebrate her second birthday was found unconscious in a pool last week, and she succumbed to severe brain trauma six days later.
Leland Rudeen, from Cumming, Georgia, was pronounced dead on Thursday, shortly after an MRI test showed extensive damage to her brain.
‘Shortly after the devastating MRI results, as we were trying to wrap our head around some hard decisions ahead of us, Leland took the choice out of our hands and started her painless decline,’ the girl’s family stated on Facebook. ‘Our little Princess is resting now.’
Leland Rudeen, 2, died on Thursday at a hospital in Miami, six days after she drowned in a pool
Officers were called to the rental home on Coco Plum Drive in Marathon, Florida, on April 9 after getting a report about an unresponsive child
Benjamin and Kristan Rudeen, Leland’s parents, were renting a house in Marathon in the Florida Keys when tragedy struck on April 9, which was 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 pool on the property a short time later.
Officers 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 was later airlifted 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 dad Benjamin Rudeen (right), had traveled from their home in Georgia to the Florida Keys for a vacation
Law enforcement officials said no foul play was suspected in the incident.
On Tuesday, the family provided an update on Leland’s condition on Facebook and GoFundMe, saying that the two-year-old had swelling on her brain but was still ‘fighting really hard.’
A relative writing on behalf of the parents stated: ‘She may or may not wake up. She will not respond to stimuli. Smile. Walk. Talk. Laugh. Or eat again. She will have to have a feeding tube in her stomach and may or may not ever breathe on her own. She may 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 suffered suffered injuries to her brain and could not be saved. In death, she helped save the lives of six other children by becoming an organ donor
‘She was such a bright, happy little girl and loved by everyone she met,’ the statement read. ‘Despite our immense loss we have chosen to do good with what has happened and will be giving up to 6 babies a chance to live because of our most precious angel.
‘She was always very caring and always wanted to help others. It only seems right that with her death we are giving her the chance 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 transporting her body back to Georgia.
‘We are speechless at the overwhelming outpour of love and support and are sincerely thankful of everyone,’ the parents stated.