Our son Connor Reid Eckhardt died July 16, 2014 when he was only 19 years old. Connor was going to a Christian University to become a worship pastor when he found himself in the Heroin epidemic which is killing the youth of our country. Heroin was what caught him. After almost one year of sobriety, Connor was offered drugs. He said “no” to drugs. He was then offered spice, k2, which unfortunately he said “yes” to! This yes, took Connor’s life. He took one hit, did not feel well and was told by his “ friend” to lay down. His friend never checked on him for 11 hours. By the time he was checked on, he was blue and 911 was called. Connor was in the finest hospital in Southern California, Hoag Hospital of Newport Beach. He received excellent care, but it was too late for our son. Oxygen was cut off to his brain and Connor was eventually pronounced “brain dead”. This is the very short version. Connor was a four time organ donor.
Connor lived a beautiful life before Heroin. He was charming, smart, gorgeous, talented in sports and music. He was the biggest personality in every room and made all people young and old feel special. He was everyone’s best friend. Connor grew up an Executive Pastor’s son of a thriving megachurch. He traveled the world and spent many holidays serving the less privileged in places like India, Kenya, and Mexico. He had an amazing voice. He even wrote, played, a song about the grips of Heroin on his life (which I have recorded). After Connor passed, we decided to go public, so that no other family would suffer as we do. The Connor Reid Eckhardt Facebook page has over 243,000 likes even after 4 years. We were able to change laws in California. We have spoken before Congress three times, We also appeared at The United Nations, House of Lords, BBC in London, The Today Show, Crime Watch, HLN, just to name a few. Connor, even in a flora graph, was in the Rose Parade.
We live in beautiful Roseville, California. Roseville is a suburb north of Sacramento. We live close to Tahoe, Napa, and San Francisco. We are an educated, Caucasian family. Our children have and are receiving excellent education. My husband and I are both business owners. Sabrina, who doesn’t even drink, our now eldest, is a student at Liberty University. Ashnika our youngest adopted from Ethiopia is 9 and attends Christian school. My husband Devin and I have been married 28 years and each of our parents have been married 57 years. Yes, this epidemic is prolific even in stable, loving and caring homes. Connor had everything. So much love and surrounded by family, but, it still got him. People think Heroin is for the guy under the bridge; this is false belief. The first time my son had an opioid is when it was offered to him at church. No one is immune. Telling kids to say no to drugs is not enough. We have to reach into their hearts and souls. Connor is not waking up.