Family Grieving after Toddler’s Drowning Death

CITRUS HEIGHTS-

Family and friends still grieving the death of a toddler who drowned over the weekend are raising money for the 3-year-old’s funeral.

Now, Leah McDaniel’s family is hoping her death serves as a reminder about pool safety.

Dana Yowell, Leah’s mother, says she is trying to stay positive, but it’s difficult while looking back at photos of her three year old daughter.

Saturday night, the toddler jumped into a friend’s swimming pool in Citrus Heights and drowned.  The family says Leah was wearing a life vest, but is not sure if it slipped off or how she fell into the pool. They say Leah’s accident happened in a matter of minutes.

Leah’s aunt, Michelle Morales, says this is a reminder of the importance of install safety gates even if you don’t have children.

“If you’re a homeowner of a swimming pool, please put a gate up,” she said.

This week family, friends and even strangers are pitching in by holding car washes to raise money for a funeral planned for this Friday.

With some questions unanswered, one thing is certain: Leah’s death helped save another life.  Her parents decided to donate her organs.  Leah’s heart now lives on in another child.

“Whoever has her heart has a precious heart,” Morales said.

As for Leah’s mother, she didn’t get to say goodbye, but she is comforted knowing her final words to her daughter were “I love you.”