Family sues Zehnder's water park after daughter dies of heart attack
FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (FOX 2) - The family of a girl who died after going down a Frankenmuth water slide is now suing the park. They believe their little girl's death could have been prevented.
London Eisenbeis loved making YouTube videos, playing with cats and anything blue. Now, she's known around the world as the child who had a deadly cardiac episode going down a mid-Michigan water slide.
"She was so excited she could finally go on this water slide," said Tina Eisenbeis, her mother. "And that was the last time my husband saw her smile."
Last year in February the family visited Zehnder's Splash Village in Frankenmuth, a popular vacation spot in Michigan with a town known for its Bavarian-style architecture. It was there that London went down a 270-foot slide. Her parents had no knowledge of an underlying heart condition called Long QT Syndrome.
"We had no inclination she had a heart condition," Tina said. "There were no symptoms.
"The excitement of the water slide actually is what I think threw it into the rhythm. It scared her."
It is the minutes after the incident that's the basis for a lawsuit the Eisenbeis family filed against Zehnder's. The lawsuit claims employees weren't properly trained to handle the emergency; they didn't call 911 quick enough and did not administer a potentially life-saving Automatic External Defibrillator machine located nearby.
Tina says she wasn't given an AED for 24 minutes when paramedics arrived.
"If continuous CPR and an AED was used I think she would be here now," her mother said.
The defendants in the suit claim they did what they were trained to do to help London. She held on for nine days in the hospital, but had severe brain damage and they took her off life support.
"I cry myself to sleep every night, we miss her so much," Tina said. "We are missing such an important part of our family."
Three weeks after her death Tina became a certified American Heart Association Instructor, then founded the London Strong Foundation to promote the use of AEDs and encourage heart screenings in children.
"We check for the eyes and hearing, why not use an EKG and check for an underlying heart condition?" Tina said.
Tina wants the horror of they've gone through to be a wakeup call for parents and hopefully with this recent lawsuit, she says, hold anyone accountable who could have done more in London's death.
"I feel like it's something I can't recover from. How can you recover from somebody who gave so much love?" she said. "How can you get over that?"
The CEO of Zehnder's of Franknmuth, Al Zehnder, told us "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."