Tourist dies on Disney's Everest roller coaster

Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:23 AM | Contributed by cpc3289

A 44-year-old man visiting Walt Disney World with his family died Tuesday after apparently suffering a heart attack on the Expedition Everest roller coaster in Animal Kingdom -- and despite company efforts to distribute portable heart defibrillators throughout the resort, none was immediately available for him.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:07 AM
That's too bad. A vacation should never end that way.

Unlike Mission: Space, I doubt the death was due to excessive forces. Everest isn't that kind of ride.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 4:08 PM
Maybe the Yeti was too scary?
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 6:04 PM
^ cold ;)

It is always tragic when someone so young dies suddenly, especially while on vacation at the "happiest place on earth." This does make me wonder about a couple things.

From the article: "The 44-year-old man who died after suffering an apparent heart attack on Walt Disney World's Expedition Everest ride was suffering from an enlarged heart and had a history of heart arrhythmias. The District Nine Medical Examiner's Office said Jeffery C. Reeb, of Navarre, Fla., died of dilated cardiomyopathy..."

This is exactly the type of individual that should NOT go on rides. Granted Everest may not be the most intense ride around, however a patient with a dilated cardiomyopathy and history of arrhythmias is at risk for sudden death at any time. In fact, he may have been a candidate for an AICD (implantable defibrillator). He should not have been on that ride - period. I suspect that the "apparent heart attack" was actually an arrhythmia that led to sudden death. It takes more than 24 hours to get final results from a post-mortem, so this would all be speculation at this time.

Could an AED (automatic external defibrillator) have saved this person? Certainly possible if someone knew how to attach it correctly. But there is the kicker. For an AED to be effective, it needs to be placed correctly, which is taught in a Basic Cardiac Life Support class. It's not feasible to expect ride ops at all of the major rides to be trained in CPR/AED. The paramedics were on the scene within 5 minutes, which is extremely good considering how large some of these parks are. It may take 5 minutes for an employee at the first aid station to run across the park with an AED.

Just some random thoughts I had....

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:13 PM
I wasn't even going to post this since it was one of those "stuff happens to people, sometimes while riding coasters" kind of stories, but already people were asking me about it at work.

I'm impressed that the paramedics were there in five minutes. Says a lot about the planning of emergency forces there, because God knows it seems to take me a half hour to get anywhere on the Disney property.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007 3:37 PM
It was somewhat amusing reading the comments on the newspaper's site because the people were much colder than we are:) Some of the comments were quite humorous like "I rode Kumba and Hulk and all they did was give me a headache and made me puke. Where's the fun in that?"

But, here's my favorite comment of all:
I went to college in Cleveland and had the best time ever at Cedar Point during senior week. I rode coasters all day until I lost my voice. It was awesome. But I was 21 and in good shape then. I'm zipping towards 40 and a couch potato AND I'm pretty sure the rides there are even faster then they were in 1992. That's my point. If the Disney rides aggravate latent conditions, Cedar Point must be stacking up the bodies like firewood.

p.s. It's still awesome. You all should go if you get a chance.

So which is it at CP? Did the rides get higher and faster? [It would've taken her a few minutes to do the search to confirm] Do the rides aggravate latent conditions? And then why would she encourage everyone to still go there if the rides kill a large amount of riders?

latent definition:• (of a disease) in which the usual symptoms are not yet manifest.

This guy clearly did not have latent issues according to the article. He was aware of his heart problems and that should have kept his butt on a bench.

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Friday, December 21, 2007 2:11 PM
Diseney seems to be going downhill with these safety preocedures. This is not a good look for Disney at all.
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Friday, December 21, 2007 5:06 PM
What are you talking about? Is Disney now responsible for preventing heart attacks?
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Friday, December 21, 2007 5:41 PM
Oh sorry, I didn't even bother reading the article. I thought it was a crash or something.
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Saturday, December 22, 2007 7:55 AM
Even if you didn't read the article itself, you didn't see the headline posted at the top stating the man died from a heart attack?
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Saturday, December 22, 2007 11:36 PM
All I saw was "Tourist dies on Disney's Everest roller coaster"
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