Eric J. Knotts was the funniest, most mischievous little child on the block who always tried to make other children laugh. He loved playing jokes and keeping the classroom full of laughter, which resulted in frequent trips to the principal's office.
“As Eric grew up, the girls always told us, ‘he is so handsome and so funny,’" recalled his mother, Diane.
Eric played basketball and won the Pass, Shoot and Dribble contest in Lima three years in a row. He joined the swim team and received many ribbons and medals for his efforts. He also played football and baseball and was determined to be the best at whatever he did.
On a Sunday in early May 2000, Eric was in a car accident and died two days later. He was only 23. “Eric's decision to be an organ donor did not surprise us in any way. His whole life was about helping and giving to others,” said Diane. “The Lifeline of Ohio staff was there and has been there when we needed them the most. They have shown us how important the ‘gift of life’ is, and how so many people are affected by such a generous gift that we all have the power to give.
“Because of his wonderful gift of organ donation, three families have their child. Eric is still out there and his gift of giving still goes on. He was such a fighter, and the recipients hung in there until their guardian angel, Eric, came along. How wonderful for their families that such a gift is available. If only others could be so giving of themselves.”
Diane found that meeting one of Eric’s recipients to be especially powerful. “I urge all donor families to consider meeting their recipients. Just to give that hug to them is a feeling I can only tell you about. It sure completes the journey that we have all traveled in the months and years after losing our loved one.”