|Birth: ||Jun. 19, 1969|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jun. 25, 2006|
New York, USA
Eric was born with spina bifida with hydrocephalus, Arnold-Chiari malformation, and skeletal deformities. He became a ward of Weschester County as an infant, living various times with foster parents and in facilities for the disabled. At that time, he had an older sister also born with spina bifida and an older brother. It's unknown if he had any siblings born after he left his family.
In spite of the challenges in his life, physical and cognitive, he bravely continued on to grow and develop as a person right up to his death. Eric worked at the media studio at his residential facility, the Center for Discovery (formerly Sullivan Diagnostic Treatment Center), Harris, New York, where he enjoyed photography, collecting photographs, and processing them with PhotoShop software. He was a happy person who made friends easily, and kept them for life.
He was empathetic, generous, and helpful. He had a ready laugh and enjoyed hearing and telling a good joke. After we became his legal guardians, he told an new residential staff nurse that his "father was a clown". This caused much confusion until she realized he meant that his new father was a very funny guy, not a member of Ringling Brothers! He was thrilled to gain a whole new large family that he could count on, never to disappear like the residential staff sometimes did. He immediately claimed the dog and kitties as his own personal pets. Eric felt his relationships deeply and enjoyed the company of a long time sweetheart, Linda. Eric loved to travel, especially to the seashore; he particularly loved Cape Cod. He enjoyed movies ("Jurras-stick" Park was a favorite), music, and listening the Harry Potter novels.
Although an electric power chair greatly increased his mobility, he never became a driving master. We frequently joked that the chair should have come with shin guards to protect all those around him. One day I visited him at his residence and noticed a whole in the peach-painted wall board near the automatic door-entry button. When I got to his room, I found a chunk of peach colored wall board stuck to the far end his leg trough. I should have known!
He used the "Eric" spelling of his name his whole life and declined to change it once his official birth name of "Erik Carl Nelson" came to light.
He died at Westchester Medical Center's ICU #1 of respiratory distress syndrome, brave to the end. I believe that he would be pleased that his disabilities weren't the cause of his death, that he had thoroughly conquered them. Hundreds of people attended a celebration of his life. I can't put into words how much we miss him.
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: Black Fish Creek Tidal Marsh, Wellfleet, Cape Cod.
Created by: seekerJay
Record added: Oct 09, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59847373