A little girl named London Eisenbeis, 10 had waited for two long years to be tall enough to go on a 270-foot waterslide at Zehnder’s Splash Village in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Finally, she was able to convince her parents to take her on President’s Day weekend in February 2018. She could hardly contain her excitement, taking video 45 minutes before getting on the Super Loop Speed Slide.
Her last video just minutes before the slide shows a happy carefree child excited to have some fun.
“We’re going to get some footage of our waterslides so stay tuned for more videos,” said London.
She was finally tall enough to make the 480-inch height requirement so she headed straight to the slide. London got inside the pink capsule at the top, ready to go without any fear, although the ride would be considered “scary” to many adults.
Her mother, Tina, who spoke to the Sunexplained that she never expected anything to go wrong. Her daughter was an athletic gymnast who had been doing flips in the air days before she got on the slide.
“London looked at her dad, gave two thumbs up and smiled, went down the slide and came out in cardiac arrest,” Tina said. “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?” she said.
As she shot down the four-story slide, the excitement triggered a hidden undiagnosed heart condition. She went into cardiac arrest in the seven-second trip to the end.
“The excitement of the water slide actually is what I think threw it into the rhythm. It scared her,” London’s mother, Tina Eisenbeis, told Fox 2.
Doctors would later discover that London had Long QT syndrome, which threw her heart into irregular heart rhythms. LQTS is a rare disorder with one in 7,000 persons diagnosed. It can often go undiagnosed.
Nine days later, London would pass away after severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. No defibrillator was available that day at the water park, which Tina believes may have saved her daughter.
“I would have taken her home with the brain damage but I’m glad she made that choice for us,” the grieving mother said.
“She fought for nine days in the hospital… then she gained her angel wings.”There, she was put on life support, as her distraught family prayed for her recovery.”My husband and I took turns to stay,” Tina explained.
“My daughter Eden still wanted to go to school. We tried to keep some kind of normalcy.”
One night, while Tina and her husband were away, they got a phone call.
“The one night we both came home – I was just wanting to take a shower and come back – I got a phone call from my dad who was with her. She’d gone into cardiac arrest again.”
“The family of London Eisenbeis is accusing park staff of not calling 911 quick enough in the February 2018 incident. In addition, the Grand Blanc family accused staff of not using an automatic external defibrillator (AED) until paramedics arrived 24 minutes later.”
In response, Al Zehnder, CEO of Zehnder’s, put out a statement:
“We sympathize with the Eisenbeis family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We are now in the litigation stage and can’t comment directly on the case.”
Following the death of their daughter last year, Tina Eisenbeis became a certified American Heart Association instructor. The Eisenbeis family established a nonprofit organization called the London Strong Foundation to promote CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training.
The foundation hosts a 5K run and sells merchandise that has so far raised enough money to provide the lifesaving AED devices to dance studios and an entire school district.
A GoFundMe page was created last year and has raised $21,325 to date.
“This tragedy has shaken the family, community and anyone who ever met this energetic, athletic and sweet child,” stated the page.