By SHAUNA ANDERSON
This is an image difficult to see.
A dead teenager, a boy described as having everything to live for.
A boy with a loving family – a boy tender-hearted and passionate.
Now dead on a hospital bed.
And yet this is an image his family want you to see. An image his family want you to share. An image his family want to be used by others so that no other tender-hearted, passionate teenage boys die as Connor did.
Three weeks ago on a Saturday night in Orange County, California, Connor Eckhardt smoked synthetic marijuana known as “Spice” with a friend.
The 19-year old fell asleep. His brain, deprived of oxygen, began to swell. He fell into a coma.
His mother Veronica Eckhard told The LA Times that they are sure Connor did not know the dangers of the synthetic drug and made a fatal choice.
“Connor did not want to die,” his mother says. “Connor very much wanted to live. He had everything to live for.”
His family were given the heartbreaking news that Connor was going to die. He had signed an organ donation consent form meaning the devastated family of five got four more days together.
Connor’s parents, Devin and Veronica Eckhardt, his two sisters Sabrina and Ashnika sat by his bed.
The LA Times reports that at one stage his Mum painted the soles of his feet to make a matching set of footprints for the ones she had made when he was a tiny newborn.
They decided to spend the four days they had left with their son remembering him, breathing him in, caressing him but also photographing him to use as a warning to others who may experiment with the dangerous – yet easily obtained drugs.