London Eisenbeis had always dreamed of riding the 273-foot water slide at Zehnder’s Splash Village in Michigan but needed to wait until she was 10 to be tall enough to meet the ride’s height requirements.
On her first time down the slide, the girl suffered cardiac arrest and was raced to the hospital. She would die nine days later.
As The Sun reported, doctors said that the 10-year-old died of “excitement” that threw her heart into an abnormal rhythm. Even though the young girl was active and was said to be a talented gymnast, her body could apparently not withstand the ride down the four-story-high slide due to an unknown condition called Long QT syndrome, which causes irregular heartbeat.
After London’s death, her parents have spoken about her tragic passing in the hopes of raising awareness of the rare and potentially fatal condition. Her mother, Tina, is also advocating for people to learn about the use of defibrillators.
“You have to respond, you don’t have time to wait, ” she said.
“I think people are afraid of defibrillators, but they’re very easy to use. They’re what is needed to bring back the rhythm.”
London’s death sparked international interest this week, with a number of news outlets picking up on the story of her tragic passing and the underlying condition that caused it.
This is not the first water slide death to attract national attention in recent months. In 2016, a 10-year-old named Caleb Schwab died after an accident at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, prompting charges of second-degree murder and aggravated battery against the operators of the water park.
As CNN reported, those charges were dropped in February by Wyandotte County District Court Judge Robert Burns. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt expressed disappointment in the ruling and hinted that there could still be further court action, noting that his office would “take a fresh look at the evidence and applicable law in this tragic and troubling case to determine the best course forward.”
The family of Caleb Schwab reached a settlement with the waterpark and the companies associated with it for a reported $20 million. The slide, which opened to nationwide fanfare, has been shut down since the accident.
London Eisenbeis was ecstatic that she was finally tall enough to go on the four-story water slide and couldn't wait to try it out. https://t.co/6B6DMK3lgb
— KFI AM 640 (@KFIAM640) May 1, 2019
The parents of London Eisenbeis said the 10-year-old was buried this week, the same day as her school’s father-daughter dance. She was laid to rest wearing the dress she had picked out just a few weeks before.