Lifelong Santa Monica resident Eric Corso is remembered by family and friends as a kind and caring person whose incredible compassion allowed others to enjoy a second chance at life.
Corso suffered a seizure and cardiac arrest in early December, which led to an anoxic brain injury. After spending more than a week at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in a coma, Corso died on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019.
“What I remember most about Eric was his ability to love unconditionally, with no prejudice and no judgment,” said Lea Spicker, a childhood best friend of Corso. “He was someone who absolutely loved animals (and) had the kindest, biggest heart,” which was exhibited up until his final days.
Born March 15, 1991, Corso was raised in Santa Monica where he attended Franklin Elementary School and Lincoln Middle School before graduating from Santa Monica High School in 2009. Corso was also a former Eagle Scout and member of troop 2.
Spicker said Corso was diagnosed with a seizure disorder in 2011, which presented him with many challenges, but he learned how to live with the disorder and thrive nonetheless.
“He was an eternal optimist and never wanted his medical difficulties to define him or hold him back, and they did not,” Spicker said. “He had such a passion for music, loved being in nature and traveled everywhere from Kauai to Costa Rica to attend various festivals with his close friends. He (also) adored sunsets, because they had a way of reminding him of how beautiful the world is and how grateful he was for another day.”
An avid reader and student of author Ram Dass, Spicker remembers Corso using his spiritual teachings to help others. He loved to share his learnings on meditation, breathwork, and contemplation with anyone he met, she said, especially when he saw others in pain or going through adversity.
“Coupled with his incredible sense of humor, he will be remembered as someone who brought laughter, smiles and healing wherever he traveled,” Spicker said, detailing how Corso’s family and many friends never allowed him to be alone during his stay in the Post-Intensive Care Unit at Saint Johns.
“We do not know where to begin thanking Providence St. John’s for all the care Eric received in the ER. Every time he was there he received superior and excellent quality care,” Kathy and Nick Corso said in an email Wednesday. “With this last seizure, while in the ICU for nine days and eight nights every doctor, technician, nurse and medical professional gave 100% of their expertise along with the very best care (and) attention.”
The Corso family also expressed gratitude towards the Santa Monica Fire Department and paramedics, who offered “excellent care with our son Eric each time he was in the ER for the last 7-and-a-half years. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of the support, help and love we have received.”
Even with the traumatic brain injury, Corso was in terrific health, according to Brea, meaning he was eligible to donate his organs.
Family and friends still remember the sight of more than 100 health center employees’ stepping into the hallway to pay their respects as Corso was wheeled to the operating room, according to Spicker, who mentioned Corso’s heart was donated to an adult female; his lungs were matched with a gentleman; his kidneys and half of his liver went to save the life of a young child and his pancreas will be used for medical research.
And since Corso always sought to take care of others, Spicker said she recently created a GoFundMe page that has garnered nearly $11,000 in donations that will be used to help the Corso family cover the costs of medical bills, “as well as to able to give Eric a funeral and memorial so colorful you could paint the sky.”
To contribute, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/we-love-you-eric-corso