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The heartbreaking images these parents want you to see.

By SHAUNA ANDERSON

His family want his images shared as a warning.

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.”

Connor and his mother

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.

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In their last minutes with their son, Connor’s family and a close friend filmed a video about the danger of spice.

“This is our son, Connor Reid Eckhardt,” The LA Times reports his mother said.

Connor was loved by many

“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.”

Spice – often known as K2 – is a mixture of green herbs that gets sprayed with chemicals to produce a similar sensation to regular cannabis – but is often 1000 stronger.

In 2013 The Conversation reported that in Australia the TGA introduced a blanket ban on any type of synthetic cannabinoid that produces the same pharmacological effect as cannabis in 2012.

However a quick search on the Internet shows that it isn’t hard to buy in Australia even today.

As the four days they had with their son drew to a close, Connor’s family knew the time had come to say goodbye.

They posted a heartbreaking image on their Facebook page and described the moment their son’s organs were taken away by helicopter.

“It is impossible to describe the feelings and emotions flooding my soul when I kissed and held my son, Connor Reid Eckhardt for the last time on this earth and now I watch as his heart and other organs are being taken to give life to someone else we don’t even know.

While our family is grieving an inexplicable loss with sorrow like no other, another family that was anticipating and counting down the days to the death of their loved-one, now races to the hospital to receive our son’s gift of life. Experiencing this unfold before us was the single most intense moment of my life.”

Connor’s family has vowed to warn others about the perils of synthetic marijuana.

They have started a Facebook page on which they ask for their message to be shared.

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