Friends and Co-workers Host a Benefit For Berlin Bistro’s Eric Lackey Thursday, October 3

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Eric Lackey

Eric Lackey

Our beloved friend, co-worker, brother, son, cousin, nephew, one of humanities most endearing, Eric Lackey, was recently stricken with a very severe case of pneumonia and has been hospitalized for over two weeks. In a matter of 10 days, a regular head cold became a life-threatening illness recently diagnosed as eosinophilic pneumonia. We are all very optimistic about him making a full recovery but we are also very realistic about how long this recovery. Unfortunately, Eric did not have health insurance and without this, and no income during his sickness, a group of friends and co-workers have come together to plan and execute this fundraiser.

The benefit will take place at the Art Theatre of Long Beach 2025 E. 4th, Long Beach on Thursday October 3 @ 7:00pm, a host of Long Beach Bands will grace the stage: Kevin Utsler and Peter Fahey, Matteran Ghost, The Dovelles and Friends, Gorgeous and Brother C & Sister J. $10 minimum donation.

Acute eosinophilic pneumonia (AEP) is a rare disorder characterized by the rapid accumulation of eosinophils in the lungs (pulmonary eosinophilia). Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell and are part of the immune system. They are usually produced in response to allergens, inflammation or infection (especially parasitic ones) and are particularly active in the respiratory tract. Common symptoms associated with AEP include progressive shortness of breath (dyspnea) of rapid onset, cough, fatigue, night sweats, low grade fevers, and unintended weight loss. AEP can rapidly progress to cause acute respiratory failure. The exact cause of the disorder is unknown (idiopathic) in many cases.

Our beloved friend and brother, so full of love, life, and vitality, was so sick and near death with this illness that he was immediately sedated to the point of unconsciousness when admitted to the hospital and placed on a respirator for 12 consecutive days while teams of doctors searched for a cause, and a cure, to his mystery condition. The doctors (in so many words) recommended that family and friends be notified, with haste, of the gravity of the situation. Masses of friends and family huddled in a crowded waiting room while he lay still, clinging on to life, persisting through raging fevers with tubes coming out him as plentiful as beeps on the various screens monitoring his every vital sign. The combination of patience, prayer, faith, love, and science brought Eric back to us. Just a few days ago, the respirator was taken off and he has been able to breath on his own, but still very weak as you might imagine with his body had taken such an impact.

This fundraiser is a real life example that compassion, kindness and humanity are just as strong a part of modern culture than it ever was and that people are still willing to go above and beyond to help out another fellow human in times of need and crisis. It is about rethinking and redefining what the collective is able to do selflessly; but mostly, this fundraiser is about returning the love that Eric has shown to so many, basking in its glow and seeking the core of our sameness, all who have been touched by his genuine warmness and have all been quite shaken by this crisis yet optimistic about the outcome.

During his Atlanta Days, Eric’s friends would call him E-Love, and there is no better word than love to truly describe his contribution to this life: to love, to bring love, show love, cultivate love, give love and receive it – and plenty of of it. His heart knows no lines of social demarcation – “Come as you are! Be you!” are the hallmarks of his personality and deeply ingrained aspects of his soul.

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