Parents Speak Out After 10-Year-Old Dies from 'Excitement' After Going Down a Waterslide

London Eisenbeis
YouTube/ London Eisenbeis’s Life and Legacy Eisenbeis

Two parents are celebrating the life of their 10-year-old daughter, who died after going down a water slide she had been dreaming about for years. London Eisenbeis went into cardiac arrest while zooming down the Super Loop Speed Slide at Zehnder’s Splash Village in Frankenmuth, Michigan, and had no heartbeat by the end of the ride. Now, the girl's parents are speaking out about their daughter's heartbreaking incident and said they hope that London's death can be used to raise awareness about the importance of having a defibrillator nearby.

  • Before that tragic day, London had been looking forward to going down the 273-foot slide when she went to the water park with her family.

    According to People, London and her family -- Tina, Jerry, and big sister Eden --  made the trip to Zehnder’s Splash Village on February 18, 2018, over Presidents' Day Weekend after London had begged her parents to go. The 10-year-old had finally reached the height requirement to go on the Super Loop Speed Slide, the tallest slide at the park, and she was desperate to give it a try.

    London, an aspiring YouTuber, and her sister even made a video before entering the park. "We’re going to get some footage of our water slides so stay tuned for more videos," she said in the video. But the day wouldn't go as planned.

    Once inside, London, her sister, and her father made a beeline for the giant slide, which boasts that it can send its riders down the 273-foot, 360-degree loop in only 6.9 seconds. London's mother, Tina, stayed back and waited for the group to return. 

    The mom said she began to grow concerned, however, when she heard a whistle go off and saw children being 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,” the mom recalled. “She said, ‘Somebody’s drowned over there.’ I kind of got nervous.”

    Tina knew that her husband wouldn't have his cellphone on him, so she walked over to the pool to investigate. 

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

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  • Unbeknownst to her family, London had a heart condition that was triggered when she went down the slide.

    London was rushed to Covenant HealthCare before being airlifted to the University of Michigan’s children’s hospital. She battled for nine days on life support, but the damage to her body and brain was severe.

    Doctors told Tina and Jerry that their daughter had suffered brain damage from being deprived of too much oxygen, and while she was in treatment she again had another cardiac arrest. On February 27, London's suffering came to an end.

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

    It was only after her fatal incident that London's parents learned she had Long QT syndrome -- a heart rhythm condition that can cause fast or chaotic heartbeats. "These rapid heartbeats might trigger a sudden fainting spell or seizure," the Mayo Clinic notes. "In some cases, the heart can beat erratically for so long that it causes sudden death."

    That was exactly what happened to London as she flew down the slide. “London looked at her dad, gave two thumbs up and smiled, went down the slide and came out in cardiac arrest,” Tina told People. “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,” the mom continued. “Who would have ever thought she would come out the bottom without one?”

    "It was an awful thing. There were no signs of the condition, she just dropped," Tina said. "The day before she had been doing flips in the air."

  • London was laid to rest March 3, the same day she was meant to attend a daddy-daughter dance at her school.

    As a tribute to their vibrant little girl, her parents dressed her in the dress she had picked out for the dance. 

    "She was buried in the dress," Tina told the Sun. "I didn't have a chance to buy shoes. She looked like an angel with her dress and no shoes. She really did look like a sleeping beauty."

    Tina added that her daughter "just loved everybody" and "She always wanted to see everybody be happy, she never wanted to see anybody sad."

    Her daughter was also a competitive gymnast and was known for her sense of humor. "She had to be the centre of attention all the time, the class clown," Tina said. "London loved to spend time with us. She would always say, I'm so lucky to have you as my mum and you as my dad and Eden as my sister. She loved animals, especially cats."

  • Tina and Jerry are urging parents to learn how to use a defibrillator -- it could one day save their child's life.

    Since London's death, Tina has become an instructor for the American Heart Association and the parents have created the London Strong Foundation, which will provide defibrillators within their community. 

    "You have to respond, you don't have time to wait, " Tina said to explain why this is such a sorely needed measure. "I think people are afraid of defibrillators, but they're very easy to use. They're what is needed to bring back the rhythm." The London Strong Foundation will also donate to pet rescues to honor London's love of animals. 

    It's unclear if Zehnder’s Splash Village has added defibrillators to their park since London's incident.

    As for Tina and Jerry, it's been incredibly difficult for the couple to live knowing that their daughter is no longer with them. Tina told the Sun that she cries herself to sleep every night.

    "You never know when it's going to happen. You never think it's going to happen to you and this is not a club you want to be part of," the mom warned other parents. "Cherish every moment you have with your family."

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