Family members of 2-year-old found in a south Florida pool last week while on vacation said she has passed away and will be donating her organs to save five other lives.
Statements released on Facebook on behalf of the family of 2-year-old Forsyth County resident named Leland who was found unconscious in a pool last week in the Florida Keys confirmed Thursday, April 17, that she died and said she would “provide a final departing gift to this world by saving the lives of 5 children who have been matched as organ recipients.”
“Even amid immense darkness and tragedy, Leland’s light shines brightly and will live on in these children, our memories, and the countless lives she has touched in the time we were graced to have with her,” one of the statements said.
“Please join us in honoring Leland during this time by remembering all of the happy moments she shared with us and keeping her in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all of the love and support.”
Family, friends and hospital staff lined the hallways of the hospital to honor Leland before the organ donation.
“She was such a bright, happy little girl and loved by everyone she met,” family members wrote in one of the posts. “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.”
Leland was found unconscious in the pool of a rental home the family was staying in at about 10:52 a.m. on Friday, April 9 before being taken to Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon, Florida and then flown via Trauma Star to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, according to information from the Monroe County Florida Sheriff’s Office.
MCSO officials said, according to detectives “adults lost sight of the child, before finding her in the pool shortly thereafter” and “CPR began immediately.”
“Foul play is not believed to be a factor in the incident,” the release said.
Friends of Leland’s family have started a GoFundMe page, which can be found at https://bit.ly/2PWSaLE, to help her parents with expenses. A previous report showed more than $55,000 had been raised.