Georgia 2-year-old dies week after she was found unconscious in pool on her birthday

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A 2-year-old Georgia girl has died one week after she was found unconscious in a pool on her second birthday in the Florida Keys.

A family friend speaking on their behalf confirmed Leland Rudeen’s death Thursday. The family also made the difficult decision to donate her organs to help six other families.

“Our little Princess is resting now. She was such a bright, happy little girl and loved by everyone she met. 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.”

On behalf of Benjamin Rudeen, Kristan & family....... It has been a very long and emotional week. We are very grateful...

Posted by Jon-Paula Bennett on Thursday, April 15, 2021


The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said the child was found in the pool April 9. She and her family were staying at a vacation rental home in Marathon and celebrating her second birthday.

She was found around 11 a.m. and the family started CPR immediately. Paramedics airlifted Leland to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with expenses.

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