Family raising awareness after 10-year-old dies first time riding giant water slide


Courtesy: Photographer Bobbie McCallister via Eleni Eisenbeis and the London Strong Foundation)

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FRANKENMUTH, Mich. — A 10-year-old Michigan girl went into cardiac arrest and died after riding a giant water slide for the first time, according to PEOPLE.  Now, her family has started a non-profit foundation offering small-cost CPR/AED training classes as a way to raise money and place defibrillators around the community to save lives.

London Eisenbeis had reportedly been looking forward to riding the Super Loop Speed Slide at Zehnder’s Splash Village in Frankenmuth, Michigan for years.

In February 2018 the Eisenbeis family took a trip to the indoor water park.  For the first time, London reached the 48-inch minimum height requirement — so of course she headed straight to the slide.

The slide plunges riders down 273 feet with a 360-degree loop in just 6.9 seconds, according to the water park’s website.

The news outlet reports that while the family was waiting for London to return from her trip down the slide, a whistle started going off and children were evacuating the pools with their parents.

London’s mother, Tina, got nervous and decided to walk over to the slide to locate her husband, Jerry, and London.  However, when she found her husband she witnessed her “worst nightmare.”

“[Jerry] was looking down and there were sheets up and I knew it was one of my kids,” she told the news outlet. “It was an awful thing.”

London was transported to the hospital where the Eisenbeis family learned that she had been suffering from a heart condition called Long QT syndrome that causes abnormal rhythms, the news outlet reports.  London’s venture down the slide caused her heart rate to spike and, due to her condition, she went into cardiac arrest and suffered brain damage as a result of being deprived of too much oxygen.

After nine days on life support, London passed away.

“I would have taken her home with the brain damage but I’m glad she made that choice for us,” Tina reportedly. “She fought for nine days in hospital… then she gained her angel wings.”

After the tragedy, the Eisenbeis family — Tina, Jerry and London’s big sister Eden — all began dedicating their time to raising awareness about heart defibrillators, which reportedly could have saved London’s life.

They established London Strong, a non-profit foundation offering small-cost CPR/AED training classes as a way to raise money and place defibrillators around the community to save lives.

Tina reportedly said that she believed using a defibrillator, which helps electrically reestablish heartbeats to someone in cardiac arrest, in a timely manner could have saved London’s life.

Tina also became an instructor for the American Heart Association.

“You have to respond, you don’t have time to wait,” Tina told the news outlet. “I think people are afraid of defibrillators, but they’re very easy to use. They’re what is needed to bring back the rhythm.”

People reached out to representatives at Zehnder’s Splash Village, asking if they have since added defibrillators to their water parks.  Zehnder’s reportedly did not respond.

London’s family said that although they continue to grieve her loss, London’s legacy will live on through the foundation.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the London Strong Foundation.

CLICK HERE to follow the London Strong Foundation on Facebook.

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