A 10-year-old girl’s dream of riding the longest slide in a water park turned deadly after she went into cardiac arrest while plunging down a 273-foot-long chute.
For more than two years, London Eisenbeis had waited to be tall enough to ride in a 273-foot Super Loop Speed Slide at Zehnder’s Splash Village in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
So, during a family trip to the water park on February 18, last year, she finally reached the height requirement.
London, an aspiring YouTuber, and her sister made a video before entering the park.
She said in the video:
“We’re going to get some footage of our waterslides, so stay tuned for more videos.”
But the day didn’t go as they had planned.
The 10-year-old, her sister, and her dad headed straight to the waterslide and eagerly waited for their turn to drop down the four-story tube.
Tina Eisenbeis, the mother, explained the incident to a news outlet:
“London looked at her dad, gave two thumbs up and smiled, went down the slide, and came out in cardiac arrest.”
“The excitement threw her rhythm.”
“The slide she went down has a heartbeat sound at the top that my husband said made it even scarier. Who would have ever thought she would come out the bottom without one?”
The mom said she started to worry when she heard a whistle go off and saw children evacuated from the pool.
“I was like, ‘Oh, there’s probably kids messing around. But within maybe minutes, I started seeing women looking terrified.”
“One woman was walking with two children, grabbing them. She said, ‘Somebody’s drowned over there.’ I kind of got nervous.”
And when she walked to the pool to see what was happening, her worst nightmare became a reality.
She told the news outlet:
“[My husband] was looking down, and there were sheets up, and I knew it was one of my kids. It was an awful thing.”
London had a heart condition called Long QT syndrome that causes abnormal rhythms triggered when she went down the waterslide.
The girl was then rushed to Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw before being airlifted to the University of Michigan’s children’s hospital.
Tina also said that at the time of the incident, attempts to save her daughter’s life didn’t include the use of a defibrillator.
At the hospital, doctors told Tina and her husband that their daughter had suffered severe brain damage after the initial cardiac arrest at the park.
As well, the doctors revealed that she suffered another cardiac arrest while she was under treatment. On February 27, London lost her life.
She was laid to rest on March 3, and thousands of people turned up to the funeral ceremony.
Following London’s death, Tina trained to become an instructor for the American Heart Association. She and her husband, Jerry, established a non-profit foundation, London Strong, in their daughter’s name.
London Strong foundation provides defibrillators to local communities to help save lives.
These devices are portable and can be used to treat patients suffering from sudden cardiac arrests. They analyze the heart’s rhythm and delivers electric shocks to help re-establish an effective rhythm.
Tina is also encouraging everyone to “cherish every moment you have with your family” because “you never know when it’s going to happen.”