COPY-Special ceremony for teen organ donor

A fifteen-year-old teenager is being called a hero in his death as a heart donor committed to helping others.

Eli Butler of Carroll County tragically died last Wednesday night after he was taken off life support at Grady Memorial Hospital following a four wheeler accident that left him with traumatic brain injuries.

Eli had pledged to donate his organs months ago, after his father was diagnosed with cancer. His father passed away two months ago.

"He helped me care for his daddy. He was a very compassionate child," said mother Christy Butler.

The family donated their son's eyes, skin and tissue for pediatric burn victims, and heart and heart valves. His mother says she kept him on life support longer than necessary for doctors to harvest organs.

Eli Butler played baseball for Temple Middle School. His mother said his teammates served as pallbearers for his casket during the funeral Sunday.

Relatives have set up a Go Fund Me page titled "Prayers and Support for Eli Butler" to handle the family medical expenses from the fifteen-year-old's and his father's recent deaths.

A special memorial will be held Thursday night in Eli's honor. Hundreds are expected to gather at Temple Middle School's baseball field at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will include a balloon release and a tree dedication. 

Temple Middle released the following statement on Facebook:

Dear Temple Family,

As you are aware, our community suffered a great loss in the passing of Eli Butler, a student in the Temple Cluster. This past school year, Temple Middle School worked to build champions. Eli proved to be one of these champions. He and his teammates competed and won the baseball championship. Even in his final days, he chose to continue to be a champion and a hero as he donated to others so that they could have a better life.

In honor of Eli Butler, a memorial ceremony will be held at the Temple Middle School baseball field on Thursday, June 18th beginning at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will include a balloon release and a tree dedication. We hope that each of you will join us as we remember all the wonderful memories we have of our students and friend, Eli.

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