Victims of Melbourne’s Thunderstorm Asthma Named In Wake Of Tragedy

4 min read

The two victims of Melbourne’s recent thunderstorm asthma tragedy have been named by the media as 18-year-old Omar Moujalled and 20-year-old Hope Carnevali.

Both died on Monday after a major disaster was declared following a freak natural phenomenon known as ‘thunderstorm asthma’, which overwhelmed hospitals and emergency services.

A massive 1,900 emergency triple-0 calls were taken, and more than 500 people were hospitalised. As one point, hospitals reported having as many as 200 people waiting for help after suffering from extreme asthma attacks. Ventolin supplies were officially declared depleted from 6pm, and both police and fire brigades were brought in to transport patients.


The thunderstorm asthma was triggered by unusual weather patterns, which brought together an intense storm system, a high pollen count, and high temperatures. This caused serious respiratory problems in thousands of people with grass and pollen allergies, even in many who had never experienced asthma before.

Unfortunately, this meant that help couldn’t come soon enough for Omar Moujalled and Hope Carnevali.


Hope, a 20-year-old law student and life-long asthma sufferer, passed away on her front lawn as her family desperately tried to revive her with CPR. They had waited 31 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, but it was too late.

Hope’s aunt and uncle, Melissa and John, said in a statement to 7 News that the death of their niece was hard to accept, particularly knowing that a faster ambulance response might have changed the outcome.


“Just knowing that if they had of got there a little bit earlier the situation might be different is very hard to deal with,” Ms Carnevali said.

“Maybe they can let you know how long they might be, just an idea and maybe it will save some lives,” Mr Carnevali added.


Hope was described by her family as being “kind-hearted” and a “beautiful angel” remembered for her infectious smile.

A fundraising page set up to assist her family with funeral costs has raised more than $16,000 in less than a day.


The other victim, 18-year-old Omar Moujalled was just on the cusp of his new life. The teenager was just a few days away from graduating from high school, and had a bright future planned. Omar passed away on Monday evening after struggling to breathe when the storm set in. His mother took him to a doctor’s surgery, but Omar died of a “massive asthma attack” before he could get to the hospital.

Close friend Shuayb Talic said he was struggling to believe it.

“We were planning road trips, outings, gaming [sessions] on that very day. Yet when he stopped reading messages, and the news slowly poured in, our hearts all sunk.”

In a Facebook post memorialising Omar, he said:

“I never would’ve thought that i’d be inviting him for a cheeky soccer sesh one day, then delivering his eulogy the next.”


The head of Omar’s school senior campus, Gafiah Dickinson, said it had been difficult for everyone to accept that Omar was gone.

“He is a lovely boy and a very respectful and decent young man. A lot of people looked up to him, he was a real gentlemen,” she said.

Omar was the oldest of four. His family and friends have also set up a fundraiser page to cover the cost of a well in Omar’s memory, to “further his influence on this Earth”.

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Oceana Setaysha

Senior Writer A passionate writer since her early school days, Oceana has graduated from writing nonsense stories to crafting engaging content for...Read Morean online audience. She enjoys the flexibility to write about topics from lifestyle, to travel, to family. Although not currently fulfilling the job of parent, her eight nieces and nephews keep her, and her reluctant partner, practiced and on their toes. Oceana holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Writing and Indonesian, and has used her interest in languages to create a career online. She's also the resident blonde at, where she shares her, slightly dented, wisdom on photography, relationships, travel, and the quirks of a creative lifestyle. Read Less

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