The families of the two young people who tragically lost their lives in Melbourne’s storms this week have paid tribute to their loved ones.
Hope Carnevali, 20, was a law student and a lifelong sufferer of asthma, whose conditioned worsened dramatically as dust and pollen in the air increased exponentially during Melbourne’s storms on Monday night.
After waiting at least 30 minutes for an ambulance, she died on her front lawn in the arms of her family, who desperately tried to administer CPR in the 20-year-old’s last moments.
Speaking to 7 News, her uncle called her a “very kind-hearted, beautiful, gorgeous little girl.”
Carnevali was just one of the 1,900 calls to emergency services that overwhelmed Melbourne’s hospital system on Monday. Some 500 patients were hospitalised, with at least 30 admitted into intensive care. The number of emergency calls was six times the average, The Australian reports.
Omar Moujalled, 18, also lost his life in the storms. The student had just completed his final exams and was planning to attend university next year.
“He spent the entire year nervous about exams, cracking jokes about our eventual ATAR results… then as soon as we were done he was taken from this world,” his friend Shubaru Talic told The Daily Mail.
This was one of the worst cases of ‘Thunderstorm Asthma’ – where a storm system causes pollen particles to shatter, a potentially fatal occurrence for asthma sufferers – in recent history. Previously, the phenomenon has been reported in milder forms in Melbourne six years ago, and then in Wagga Wagga in 1997.
You can donate to Hope Carnevali’s funeral appeal here.