On July 17, 2014 the family of 19 year old Connor Eckhardt said goodbye in their own special way before Connor’s body was taken away so that his organs could be harvested. This was not something they had anticipated since just days before Connor had been an active vibrant young man who was described as full of life.
Doctors had declared Connor Eckhardt brain-dead the day before, at age 19. Machines breathed for him in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.
Veronica’s husband, Devin, held his son’s leg steady as she continued to apply a mixture of brown and blue, Connor’s favorite colors.
It was Thursday, July 17. Their son’s decision to donate his organs had allowed the couple extra time at his bedside. Tests needed to be run, organ recipients identified.
Earlier that day, Veronica thought of the footprints they made when Connor was little. She wanted to make another set, to commemorate his end. Her mother and father-in-law went to Michaels to buy the paint.
Read the full story: Before his organ donation, a final loving vigil for their son
Unfortunately, Connor had decided to try “spice”, a form of synthetic marijuana. With just one puff he was sent into a coma from which he would never recover. But the Eckhardt family is not letting Connor’s story end here. Instead, they have dedicated themselves to spreading the word about the dangers of drugs such “spice” (or K2).
The Eckhardts used their last precious minutes with Connor, a California boy whose bronzed skin was a testament to his love of surfing and skateboarding, to do something incredibly brave.
They filmed a short video by Connor’s comatose side, about the dangers of synthetic marijuana.
‘This is our son, Connor Reid Eckhardt,’ Veronica said, her voice raw with emotion.
‘He made the deadly choice to use a product called K2, or spice, and Connor is completely brain-dead… This is not a game, it is totally real, please help us fight his fight.’
Read the full story: Family shares heartbreaking photographs of son’s final moments