Elysha's Story

Beautiful daughter of Kurt and Keryn, sister to Aidan and perfect playmate for Nala our dog

Elysha was a warm hearted, kind, caring, sporty, determined spark of energy.  She couldn’t sit still for long.  Elysha was always moving: jumping, springing, skipping, climbing, swimming or running.  The trampoline, a tree, a pool, the stream, the bush or the track – these were her playgrounds. She was always outside – and if she was outside and it was raining she loved it! But Elysha’s favourite thing was running. She had to run. She had a notebook that she would write in, and it has “I love running!” written in it numerous times. She had race times she wanted to achieve posted on her wall. Running was Elysha’s happy place. Elysha would run on the Heritage trail, Darlington Oval or we would take her up to Mundaring Recreation Ground.

 

It was on the oval at Mundaring Recreation Ground on the 26th January 2019 where tragedy struck. Keryn, Elysha and Aidan had gone to the oval so Elysha could do an easy training run. After Elysha’s training run she collapsed on the oval.  When Keryn and Aidan reached her they knew that something was seriously wrong.  Elysha wasn’t breathing. Aidan called the ambulance and Keryn commenced CPR until the ambulance arrived.  Then began the week that no one should have to go through. We think of the 26th January as the day Elysha died – she never regained consciousness and Elysha’s life support was turned off on Thursday 31st January.  Elysha was 14.

 

Elysha had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. According to St John’s Australia, Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes about 30,000 Australians every year. Unfortunately fewer than 5 per cent survive, often because they cannot reach help in time. It is critical that an Automated External Defibrillator is used within minutes to maximise survivability. For every minute a person waits for defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases by 10%. There were two defibrillators located within the Mundaring Arena building less than 200 metres away, but as it was Australia Day the facility was closed. It took 12 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

What we have done

Keryn has walked over 1000km to raise money for the Heart Foundation. She had set and has achieved her goal of raising $1000 for every year of Elysha’s life:

Heart Hero

 

Kurt has worked with the Shire of Mundaring to have external defibrillators installed at Shire facilities, including one by the oval where Elysha collapsed:

External Defibrillators Installed at Mundaring Shire Facilities

 

We are also liaising with all other Local Government Area’s to encourage them to provide externally accessible defibrillators, with the aim of getting as many defibrillators located outside as possible.

 

There are approximately 4000 defibrillators registered with St John in Western Australia, and of these only 25% are located externally. Going forward, our aim is to raise awareness of the risks of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and to raise funds for St John so they can provide cabinets so existing defibrillators can be relocated outside.

 

Kurt is riding the length of New Zealand to help raise funds for these cabinets. You can track progress here:

https://blurredout.maprogress.com/robandkurttoa

What you can do

You can remember Elysha. You can view and contribute to the Memories on this site. For those of you that run, you can run for Elysha.

 

We encourage everyone to download the St John First Responder app for their smart phones. The app provides excellent resources to improve the speed and effectiveness of delivering critical first aid, including:

  • A defibrillator locator – showing all the defibrillator locations near you.
  • A “call 000” feature that automatically sends your GPS coordinates to the St John Ambulance State Operations Centre, making it easier for an ambulance to locate you.
  • The ability to notify qualified first aiders in the vicinity who can deliver critical first aid.

Click here to download the St John first responder app.

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Click here to donate to St John WA so defibs can be relocated to be externally accessible.

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Contact Us

If you have memories of Elysha you want to share, please submit them here