Erik was very special five year old, as any proud parent would say of their child. He had a very adventurous and outgoing personality and loved his family and friends. He would spend his time role-playing as his favorite pirate “Jack Sparrow”, riding his bike, camping, fishing and playing baseball. He was the world to his parents and a great friend to his older brother.
On a beautiful evening in July 2008 our family sat down to dinner. Erik could hear the neighborhood kids playing outside and was eager to get out and join them. He finished his dinner and asked to go play. While running and playing he fell and suffered from a traumatic head injury. Erik was airlifted to Children’s Hospital where he underwent surgery and spent several days in the Pediatric ICU on life support. Erik lost the fight for his life and we soon learned we could donate his organs. We made the decision to donate… a small way to turn this tragedy into a small ray of hope for someone else.
In 2009 we received a letter from a family whose eight year old boy is the recipient of several of Erik’s organs. The news that Erik saved another young life means so much to us. Our little boy always wanted to be a hero, and now he is.
In 2011 we were selected to participate in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. as float riders on the Donate Life Float. My wife gave birth to our son Jonathan in December and could not make the trip, but I was given the unique opportunity to meet Angel, the recipient of our son’s organs. We are truly blessed to know Angel and his family.
The simple act of registering to be an organ donor can change the lives of so many for the better.
Erik’s Story, told by his father, comes to us from UNYTS in Buffalo, NY.