Girl 'dies of excitement' halfway down waterslide

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

A 10-year-old girl who was excited to finally be tall enough to ride down an 83-metre-long waterslide was tragically found unconscious with no heartbeat by the time she got to the bottom of the slide.

Nine days after London Eisenbeis went down the slide, she was declared dead.

The talented gymnast was visiting Zehnder's Splash Village in Michigan in the US with her family when the unthinkable occurred.

As she prepared herself for the drop inside the enclosed pink capsule, London gave her dad an excited two thumbs up, however when she came out seconds later her heart had stopped beating.

The little girl had gone into cardiac arrest as she plunged down the four-storey tube, believed to be brought on by her high levels of excitement.

London Eisenbeis (left) who died while sliding down the waterslide at Zehnder’s Splash Village (right)
London Eisenbeis (left) died after she suffered cardiac arrest while riding the Zehnder’s Splash Village waterslide (right). Source: Instagram/Zehnder's Splash Village

Unbeknown to her family London had been suffering from a potentially fatal condition called Long QT syndrome, which can cause serious irregular heart rhythms.

While London died in 2018, her mother Tina Eisenbeis has this week found the courage to speak out to raise awareness of the hidden heart condition and the importance of using defibrillators.

“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?” Ms Eisenbeis told The Sun of that day on February 18, 2018.

Ms Eisenbeis said she was on the other side of the waterpark when she heard a whistle blasting.

"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,” the mother said.

When Ms Eisenbeis looked over and saw her husband Jerry staring down at a sheet, she knew it was her child underneath.

London Eisenbeis  (left) and her family (right)
London Eisenbeis (left) died at a waterpark, her family (right) are now trying to raise awareness. Source: London Strong

"It was an awful thing. There were no signs of the condition, she just dropped,” she told The Sun.

"The day before she had been doing flips in the air."

Ms Eisenbeis said attempts to save London's life didn't include the use of a defibrillator - which can reestablish a regular heartbeat.

London was transported to University of Michigan's children's hospital and placed on life support.

"She fought for nine days in hospital... then she gained her angel wings,” she said.

London passed away on February 27 and was laid to rest on March 3, 2018. Thousands of people attended her funeral.

Following the devastating death, Ms Eisenbeis has trained to become an instructor for the American Heart Association and with her husband, has set up the non-profit London Strong Foundation.

The foundation grants defibrillators within the local community in an effort to save lives.

Ms Eisenbeis believes with the correct use of the defibrillators, lives can be saved.

"You have to respond, you don't have time to wait… I think people are afraid of defibrillators, but they're very easy to use. They're what is needed to bring back the rhythm,” she said.

Ms Eisenbeis cautions other parents to treasure every moment with their children, telling The Sun she still cries herself to sleep missing her daughter.

“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… cherish every moment you have with your family."

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