Alex Haselden Wiki – Alex Haselden Biography
- Teen felt dizzy after getting off a ride, his heart stopped and he fell to the floor
- No-one provided immediate CPR as they thought he’d only fainted
- Paramedics revived him but his brain had been 10 minutes without oxygen
- The gentle New Zealand gamer, 15, spent a week on life support before he died
A teenager has died after suddenly collapsing with a cardiac arrest at a sci-fi expo in Auckland.
Alex Haselden, 15, told friends he felt dizzy just before he fell to the ground at the Armageddon Expo at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds.
The teenagers had gone to the comics, gaming, anime, cos play and science fiction event expecting to have a fun day out, as they did every year.
‘I drove them all there,’ said Alex’s mother, Joanne Haselden, as she recalled the events of late last month.
On the way they stopped at Little Manly beach to see some dolphins.
When they got there, Ms Haselden went to the cafe while the teens went to enjoy the popular fantasy event.
Half an hour later, her world shattered when one of Alex’s friends called her for help.
When she found the group five minutes later, paramedics were arriving.
‘He had been on a ride with his friends and when he got off and started walking, he told them he felt dizzy and then he just dropped to the floor,’ Ms Haselden told Nine News.
Tragically, he could have been saved if the seriousness of the situation was immediately recognised.
‘When he fell down his friends and the adults around him thought that he had fainted, so they put him into the recovery position and waited for paramedics.
‘This meant for about 10 minutes he was without oxygen – he needed CPR administered straight away.’
The paramedics managed to resuscitate Alex and he was rushed to hospital where he spent a week on life support in a coma.
However his doctors came to the awful conclusion that his brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long and he had no chance of recovery.
They withdrew his life support and Alex died on Halloween, October 31.
Ms Haselden said Alex had been a very gentle and kind young man with a tight-knit group of friends, who loved gaming.
He was a champion for anyone who was different or bullied, she said.
An online fundraiser has been set up for the family to pay for funeral costs.
As of Monday night it had raised more than $20,000.
The Orewa College student had no known underlying medical problems that could have caused his death, his mother said.
Doctors later said the teenager had suffered a sudden cardiac death.
Alex Haselden’s funeral was held on November 10.
Ms Haselden, who taught at Orewa College where Alex studied, had herself only just recovered from breast cancer.
”Things were just getting better for our small family of three and I was preparing to return to teaching next year when this happened,’ she told NZ news website Stuff.
‘This has broken our hearts.’
Sudden cardiac arrest is different to a heart attack.
Heart attacks occur when the coronary arteries get blocked stopping the blood supply to the heart, damaging it by starving it of oxygen.
A sudden cardiac arrest is caused when the electrical system to the heart malfunctions causing the heart to beet dangerously fast.
Symptoms include a racing heartbeat and dizziness caused by the potentially dangerous heart rhythm, however more than half of all cases occur suddenly without any prior symptoms.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition is rare in young people but warning signs include unexplained fainting during physical activity which could be a sign there is a heart problem, or unexplained sudden death among family members aged under 50.
If anyone witnesses a cardiac arrest, they should call 111 in New Zealand or 000 in Australia, start administering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or use an automated external defibrillator (AED) according to the Heart Foundation.
Cardiac arrest is fatal within minutes unless action is taken.