August 12, 2014

"He made a deadly choice"

Parents share final heartbreaking photographs of son, 19, to raise awareness of the dangers of synthetic marijuana which left him brain dead after one hit
The parents of a 19-year-old who died in California after smoking one hit of synthetic marijuana are determined that his death won't be in vain.

Devin and Veronica Eckhardt never imagined they would be watching a helicopter bearing their only son's heart fly away from the Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.
But on Thursday July 17 they honored Connor Eckhardt's wishes to donate his organs following his death after smoking a synthetic marijuana known as 'spice' the previous Saturday.
Now, the family is sharing photographs of Connor's life and death, in the hope that their son's tragic passing will serve as a warning to others about the dangers of synthetic marijuana.

 Connoreckardts Deathbed

'He gave into (peer pressure) — thinking that it was okay, it was somehow safe — and one hit later, he goes to sleep and never wakes up,' Connor’s father, Devin Eckhardt told KTLA.
Also known as K2, spice is a mixture of herbs that's sprayed with a chemical to produce a similar sensation to marijuana. The herbs and chemicals in spice vary, making it impossible for users to know what they're smoking and in what concentrations.

These substances are not benign,' Dr Andrew Monte, the lead author of an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, told the ststion.  'People may not realize how dangerous these drugs can be – up to 1,000 times stronger binding to cannabis receptors when compared to traditional marijuana.'

Incredibly, it's readily available in shops and online, even though the sale of it is illegal in California.  Synthetic marijuana has been labeled incense, potpourri and herbal smoking blend — and it's been sold using names such as K2 and Spice.  Connor Eckhardt fell asleep after taking a hit of spice.  His brain, deprived of oxygen, began to swell and he slipped into a coma.

 Connor+Family In happier names, Connor (2nd from left) with his parents and siblings.

I applaud these parents, who, in the midst of their grief, want others to know just how dangerous synthetic marijuana is.

Posted by Jill Fallon at August 12, 2014 10:12 AM | Permalink