The best friend of a NSW father of three who died of a sudden heart attack just days before the birth of his baby has warned others to “listen to your body”.
Lismore local John Lush was one of thousands taking part in the town’s annual lantern festival, which celebrates the winter solstice, when it 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 one of the most genuine punk rockers in the area,” said Isaac Vincent, Lush’s best friend.
“(He will) be remembered for the funny, dangerously witty person he was.”
Vivienne, who was heavily pregnant with the couple’s third child, gave birth after Lush’s death.
She gave birth to a healthy baby girl – Beatrix Gygax Lush on Wednesday evening.
Lush was a local legend. He loved his community, and they loved him too, Vincent said.
He was all about entertainment – he was a musician, theater performer and stand-up comedian.
“It really shocked the community,” Vincent said of the death, revealing that 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 the local theater. He loved making music and singing.
“He was the funniest and he never took more than he gave.”
Vincent said that Lush was also a loving father to his two children, John Jr and Betty.
“He loved spending time with his kids,” added his best friend.
‘Listen to your body’
The day before his death, Lush and his partner walked to the local hospital for a maternity appointment.
“They only live around the corner from the hospital, but there is a small hill,” Vincent says.
“So they walked to the hospital…and half way through John started sweating and he was really out of breath and he clutched his chest.
“Viv asked what was going on and he said his heart felt weird and he needed to sit down.
“She asked him if he wanted to go to the emergency room, but I think he was more focused on doing baby things.”
The next day, without further warning, Lush collapsed.
Lush had no known underlying health conditions, but his death prompted Vincent to warn people to make their health a priority.
“Listen to your body…if you’re feeling strange or if you have symptoms of something underlying or more serious, go and have a look.
“It’s totally worth it.”
After his death, the local community gathered to raise money for Lush’s children.
“I hope he’s somewhere where he can still have fun and make music…somewhere where he can see his new baby,” Vincent said.