In memory

In memory . . . . . . of a life so beautifully lived . . . . a Heart so deeply loved.

Brian Christian Ellis, Organ Donor, Downey, CA, Nov 1,1978 - Nov 20, 2009

We each have the power to “touch the heart” of someone else. My son Brian did, both during his life and after his passing, when he became an organ donor and gave the gift of life to six people. 

Brian was born severe “hydrocephalus” (a condition called water on the brain). I was told not to expect much. He would probably never walk, talk or even learn to roll over! I was advised to just let him go, his prognosis was so severe. That decision was never made and at the age of 2 weeks, a shunt was placed in his brain to allow the fluid blocked in his head to move down to his stomach, giving him a chance to live.

Brian never grew mentally past the age of a child; he could not read did not understand time or money, throughout his life he needed help with all his personal needs. He struggled to do the simplest things we take for granted, and he suffered from “grand mal” seizures. But, Brian grew up healthy and happy surrounded by family and friends who loved him dearly and miss him deeply. 

He was a graduate of Speech and Language Development Center, in Buena Park, CA and a client of the Easter Seal Program in Downey CA. He enjoyed socializing with his friends and getting out and about in the community. He was a beautiful son who taught us all the gift of kindness, forgiveness, how to enjoy the simplest things in life and how to love unconditionally. People who met him would often say to me, “he touched my heart.” 

Brian had an infectious laugh, a beautiful smile and bright brown eyes. He cared about the feelings of others. He was the first to greet a person when they entered a room and the last to say goodbye when they left. Remarkably, the shunt Brian received at 2 weeks of age lasted 31 years, never needing to be replaced. A successful surgery was undertaken and recovery was taken for granted. A week later an infection developed and a second surgery was undertaken. That night Brian stopped breathing and was placed on a respirator; 48 hours later he was declared brain dead. It was to honor his life, and the beautiful spirit he possessed, that we chose to donate his organs. 

So many thought Brian would not achieve much in his life, but I look back at the joy he gave me, his family and the friends who loved and cherished him. I think of the joy he is giving today to the families and friends of 6 strangers who received his life saving organs, and I say WOW! 

He lived a life full of joy and generosity and lit a legacy that will live on forever. His story and life continues to be told, and continues to reach out to touch the heart of so many others. He is our angel and he is our hero. And he will never be forgotten.

One of my most favorite quotes truly represents the life of my Brian 
“There are some who bring a light so GREAT to the world;
that even after they are gone, the light remains.”~ Anonymous~

I love you my son, so very much and look forward to day we will meet again.

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