The best friend of a NSW father-of-three who died from a sudden heart attack days before his baby’s birth has warned others to “listen to your body”.
Lismore Local John Lush was among thousands taking part in the town’s annual lantern festival, which celebrates the winter solstice, when he suddenly collapsed on June 25.
The 43-year-old and his partner Vivienne – who have both been an important part of the festival for years – were blowing bubbles as part of the parade when John suffered a heart attack and could not be revived.
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“I think John will be remembered as definitely one of the most genuine punk rockers in the area,” Lush’s best friend Isaac Vincent said.
“(He’ll be) remembered for the funny, dangerously witty person that he was.”
Vivienne, who was heavily pregnant with the couple’s third child, went into labor following Lush’s death.
She gave birth to a healthy baby girl – Beatrix Gygax Lush – on Wednesday night.
Lush was a local legend. He loved his community, and they loved him back, Vincent said.
He was all about entertainment – he was a musician, theater performer and stand-up comedian.
“It really rocked the community,” Vincent said of the death, revealing he and Lush recently played together in a band called the Humans of Lismore.
“He was an entertainer. He was such a talented man and just a really, really nice person.
“He was very involved in local theatre. He loved playing music and singing.
“He was the funniest, and he never took more than he gave.”
Vincent said Lush was also a doting dad to his two children, John Jr and Betty.
“He loved spending time with his kids,” his best friend added.
‘Listen to your body’
The day before his death, Lush and his partner walked to the local hospital for a pregnancy appointment.
“They only live around the corner from the hospital, but there is a small hill,” Vincent said.
“So they were walking to the hospital… and halfway up, John started sweating and he was really out of breath and he was clutching at his chest.
“Viv asked what was wrong and he said that his heart felt funny and that he needed to sit down for a while.
“She asked him if he wanted to go to the ER but I think he was more focused on doing baby stuff.”
The next day, without any further warning, Lush collapsed.
Lush didn’t have any known underlying health conditions but his death has prompted Vincent to warn people to make their health a priority.
“Listen to your body… if you feel odd at all or if you have any symptoms of something that’s underlying or more serious, go and get it checked.
“It’s absolutely worth it.”
Following his death, the local community has rallied to raise money for Lush’s children.
“I hope he is in some place where he still gets to have fun and make music… somewhere he can see his new baby from,” Vincent said.