“Through her endeavours, both with her personal involvement and charitable contribution, Eva and Hans Kristian “saved” thousands of lives – tragically not her own. This is a stark reminder that the illness of addiction knows no social class or gender.”
A message from the Kemeny family
The Kemeny family is deeply distressed by the tragedy of their daughter, Eva’s, death and have seen the widespread worldwide media coverage of her difficulties over the last few days. Eva would have wanted the memory of her life to be used to benefit others facing similar addiction challenges in their lives. The Kemeny family hopes this tribute will be used to draw attention to the tragedy of drug addiction and to generate awareness and financial support for this cause in the future. In due course they will launch a foundation.
American philanthropist, loving wife and mother, who helped countless addicts, and children
By Tom Kemeny, Eva’s father
Eva Louise Kemeny was born on 7 March, 1964 exactly nine months and one week after Nancy and I were married in Goldsboro, North Carolina on 1 June, 1963.
Eva was born in the Matilda War Memorial Hospital on the Peak of Hong Kong. Our darling Eva was literally delivered by me and a 16 year old assistant nurse, since the doctor had failed to show-up. When Eva was born, I wrapped her up in a towel, still attached to Nancy’s umbilical cord, and held her up to show Nancy our beautiful first born. Nancy said, “Oh, a boy!” And I said, “Not exactly, what you’re seeing is the umbilical cord.” Thus Eva entered dramatically into our world.
From Hong Kong we moved to Sydney and from there to Milan where her sister, Be, was born. We then moved to Rome in 1967, where Eva attended the original Montessori Nursery. In 1970 we moved to London and Eva first attended Garden House School, and then later Queens Gate, followed by the American School in London. She was an immensely bright, loving but very shy little girl.
We think she started experimenting with drugs in her late teens to overcome her shyness. The drug dependency impacted poor Eva, and her attendance, at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
After attending many drug rehabilitation centres in the USA and the UK, Eva finally recovered in the late 1980’s. Her recovery was strong and, as is customary in the 12-Step Programme, she went around London and the UK sharing her life and experiences to explain that recovery is possible and to give hope and support to others. This became a major defining endeavour in her short life: to help others, especially those with drug addictions. Continue reading