Wichita North High students honor Zei Uwadia with flower release in Arkansas River

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Friday, February 15, 2019

Wichita North High School students will be doing a flower drop in the Arkansas River today in honor of Zei Uwadia.

The teen died earlier this week. She'd been home for less than two weeks for a hospital stay that lasted 457 days.

Zei was a Wichita North student when she suffered a rare lung disease and had to be transported to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City of treatment.

Zei became the first person to walk while on life support.

The 17-year-old leaves behind her mother and two younger siblings.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Less than two weeks after family and friends gathered to welcome her home. a Wichita North High School student has died.

Zei Uwadie spent than a year of her life in a Kansas City hospital on life support.

Her mother, Brie Kerschen, posted about her daughter's death on Facebook.

Zei won her battle with the universe tonight at 7:54 pm, at home, in her bed, in my arms," she said.

In a previous post, Brie said Zei's homecoming was both profound and challenging.

"We are grateful and grieving as this is not the home she dreamt of returning to 6 months ago, off ecmo, new trach. But we are home. With Jai and Ziah and an army of helpers, Zei is surviving but not yet thriving. We are trying to find balance between pushing and patience and right now really need prayer," she said.

Zei became the first person to walk while on life support during her stay at Children's Mercy in Kansas City.
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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Family, friends and other from the Wichita community gathered Thursday afternoon at a home near Minisa Park to welcome home Zei Uwadia.

For the past 456 days, the teen has called the PICU at Children's Mercy in Kansas City home.

Zei was a healthy 16-year-old girl when she collapsed more than a year ago. She was rushed to the hospital where her lungs started failing. From there, she was life-flighted to CMKC immediately and put on life support.

Zei was put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for 190 days – the longest for any pediatric patient in the country. She is also one of the first people to walk while on life support.

After a lot of hard work, Zei arrived back in Wichita and walked into her house on a home ventilator.

READ MORE: Wichita teen one of first to walk while on life support

Wednesday, Zei not only arrived home to a group of well-wishing family and friends. She also received a bedroom makeover thanks in part to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

The inspiration was a glamorous, Hollywood feel complete with pink and rose gold accents, unique furnishings and bling. The makeover happened while Zei was in the hospital receiving treatment.

Welcome home, Zei!