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Sun May 6, 2018, 06:25 PM

Mother signs organ donation papers for brain dead son. A day later, he wakes up.

She was told that if he ever woke up, he'd be a "vegetable." The doctors were wrong.

He's missing a chunk of his skull, and he still has a long road to recovery -- but he's talking now, and even walking.

http://people.com/human-interest/boy-wakes-after-parents-sign-organ-donation-papers/

After the 13-year-old boy was severely injured in a dune buggy accident, his parents made the difficult decision to donate his organs following days of him being apparently brain dead, according to Fox 10. But after the papers were signed, he miraculously regained consciousness.

The incident happened two months ago, when McKinley was playing at a friend’s house in Alabama. While the teen was riding in a small utility trailer being pulled by a dune buggy, his friend suddenly hit the brakes and caused the trailer to flip.

“I hit the concrete and the trailer landed on top of my head,” recalled McKinley, speaking to Fox 10. “After that, I don’t remember anything.”

His mother, Jennifer Reindl, told the outlet that her son had been dead for 15 minutes when she arrived at USA Medical Center in Mobile.

SNIP

53 replies, 3516 views

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Reply Mother signs organ donation papers for brain dead son. A day later, he wakes up. (Original post)
pnwmom May 2018 OP
StarryNite May 2018 #1
Demovictory9 May 2018 #44
onecent May 2018 #2
longship May 2018 #3
pnwmom May 2018 #4
LisaL May 2018 #5
pnwmom May 2018 #13
LisaL May 2018 #18
pnwmom May 2018 #21
LisaL May 2018 #23
pnwmom May 2018 #25
LisaL May 2018 #27
pnwmom May 2018 #32
LisaL May 2018 #34
pnwmom May 2018 #36
longship May 2018 #7
LisaL May 2018 #8
longship May 2018 #16
pnwmom May 2018 #38
LanternWaste May 2018 #50
mr_lebowski May 2018 #10
pnwmom May 2018 #14
LisaL May 2018 #19
pnwmom May 2018 #20
LisaL May 2018 #22
pnwmom May 2018 #24
LisaL May 2018 #28
pnwmom May 2018 #31
LisaL May 2018 #33
CatMor May 2018 #29
LisaL May 2018 #30
CatMor May 2018 #35
pnwmom May 2018 #37
LisaL May 2018 #39
pnwmom May 2018 #41
renate May 2018 #51
CatMor May 2018 #53
Baconator May 2018 #49
SidDithers May 2018 #6
pnwmom May 2018 #9
mr_lebowski May 2018 #12
pnwmom May 2018 #15
mr_lebowski May 2018 #26
The Wielding Truth May 2018 #40
pnwmom May 2018 #43
kcr May 2018 #47
pnwmom May 2018 #48
sarah FAILIN May 2018 #11
LeftInTX May 2018 #17
sarah FAILIN May 2018 #42
longship May 2018 #45
Bucky May 2018 #46
Iggo May 2018 #52

Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:27 PM

1. Not even sure what to say except thank goodness!

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Response to StarryNite (Reply #1)

Mon May 7, 2018, 03:13 AM

44. yes!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:29 PM

2. I think since he "came back to life" you just have to say THANK YOU...

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:39 PM

3. Brain dead is dead.

If he woke up, he was not brain dead.

Somebody declared brain dead can be treated like a corpse. Ask any neurologist.

This is an example of really bad science reporting. Brain dead means a very specific thing, not just some dude in a coma from which he may or may not wake. There's no coming back from brain dead. You're dead.

Horrible reportage.

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:42 PM

4. The mother was told he was brain dead -- which is the standard for organ donation.

He was on artificial breathing support, which kept his heart beating.

The doctors would NOT have been asking her to sign organ donation papers unless they had made the diagnosis that he was brain dead.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:45 PM

5. It's kind of confusing but I don't believe

he had a confirmed/final diagnosis of brain death. On her facebook she says they were going to do brain wave test but cancelled it because he moved his extremities. If they already declared him brain dead there would be no need to run brain wave tests on him.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #5)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:11 PM

13. She said earlier he had had "no brain waves"; but they cancelled the "final" brain wave test,

after his hand and feet moved.

Also, they wouldn't have gotten her to sign the organ donation papers if they didn't think he was brain dead.

From Facebook:

March 22

He has had two crainiatamy surgeries and died 4 times at one time for 15 min. The last time they brought him back he had no brain waves a damaged brain stem and his heart only beat because the adrenalin and even then his vitals were 40over20 and his body temp was 81....they said the next time his heart stopped they had to let him die....this was a saterday....or I could sign a paper to donate his organs to save five other kids....and they would keep hitting him with adrenaline till monday....so I signed it....his eyes were solid black and dry and I knew he would not hesitate to save 5 more lives....the next day I got a call....they canceled the final brain wave test....right before they hooked him up his hand moved Then his feet...so they looked at his eyes and they were back....he had blue eyes....now they are green with small white specks like glitter...they say when you look upon god...pigment changes...and my baby was in heaven for a whole day....he is a miracle...they say no one has ever came back from complete death of the brain brain stem and heart....but god did for my son what he did for his own....and I am so honored to have him back....this is our testimony

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #13)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:07 PM

18. If they were still planning to do more tests then he didn't have an official diagnosis of

brain death.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #18)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:17 PM

21. They were telling her he was brain dead. And they also told her that if they took him off

the ventilator, the best case scenario was that he'd never be more than a "vegetable."

And they were obviously wrong.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #21)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:19 PM

23. If you take a brain dead person of a ventilator they heart stops, because a brain dead person can

not be breathing on their own. So without ventilator brain dead person's heart will stop beating. Therefore brain dead person will not become a "vegetable."
So if they believed him to be brain dead, I don't see how they could have said he was going to become a vegetable if taken of a ventilator.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #23)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:21 PM

25. They were making the heart start-up again by shooting him up with adrenaline.

It wasn't starting up again on its own.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #25)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:30 PM

27. What does that have to do with him becoming a vegetable if taken off ventilator?

Brain dead person isn't going to become a vegetable if taken of ventilator, their heart will stop beating. So if he were believed to be brain dead, doctors wouldn't be expecting him to become a vegetable.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #27)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:48 PM

32. When the mother questioned the doctor about the doctor's clinical diagnosis of brain death,

and the scan that showed no brain waves, the doctor said that even if he somehow lived, he would be a vegetable.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #32)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:49 PM

34. Then the doctor didn't believe him to be brain dead.

Again, brain dead person by definition isn't going to be able exist as a vegetable once ventilator is turned off.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #34)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:58 PM

36. In my view, the doctor was merely acknowledging the imperfect and imprecise

nature of these determinations. He had clinically diagnosed her as brain dead and an initial brain scan seemed to confirm this -- but, he thought, if his clinical diagnosis was wrong and the boy lived, he would be no more than a vegetable. The doctor turned out to be wrong about that, too.

It also turns out that there is wide variability in the determination of brain deaths. This is from a study last year.

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/neuroscience/2017/6017958/

Objective. Research continues to highlight variability in hospital policy and documentation of brain death. The aim of our study was to characterize how strictly new guidelines of American Academy of Neurology (AAN) for death by neurological criteria were practiced in our hospital prior to appointment of neurointensivists. Method. This is a retrospective study of adults diagnosed as brain dead from 2011 to 2015. Descriptive statistics compared five categories: preclinical testing, neurological examination, apnea tests, ancillary test, and documentation of time of death. Strict adherence to AAN guidelines for brain death determination was determined. Result. 76 patients were included in this study. Preclinical prerequisites were fulfilled in 53.9% and complete neurological examinations were documented in 76.3%. Apnea test was completed in 39.5%. Ancillary test was completed in 29.8%. Accurate documentation of time of death occurred in 59.2%. Overall, strict adherence to current AAN guidelines for death by neurological criteria was correctly documented in 38.2%. Conclusion. Our study shows wide variability in diagnosing brain death. These findings led us to update our death by neurological criteria policy and increase awareness of brain death determination with the goal of improving our documentation following current AAN guidelines.



Here is one set of guidelines, but they say there are alternatives, and this is "opinion based."

http://surgery.med.miami.edu/laora/clinical-operations/brain-death-diagnosis

American Academy of Neurology Guidelines for Brain Death Determination

Many of the details of the clinical neurologic examination to determine brain death cannot be established by evidence-based methods. The detailed brain death evaluation protocol that follows is intended as a useful tool for clinicians. It must be emphasized that this guidance is opinion-based. Alternative protocols may be equally informative.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:49 PM

7. Well, they were wrong, weren't they.

Because brain dead is dead, by definition.

Somebody goofed here. I'm not sure that I'd want to live under such conditions, however.


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Response to longship (Reply #7)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:50 PM

8. What conditions? He isn't in vegetative states, he can talk and walk.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #8)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:17 PM

16. Then he was decidedly not brain dead as was reported in OP.

Which was my point. Because brain dead means dead.

That's all I wanted to say here.

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Response to longship (Reply #16)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:05 PM

38. You don't understand how variable these determinations are.

I posted one set of guidelines at #36, but it said the guidelines were just one alternative, and "opinion-based" not "evidence-based."

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Response to longship (Reply #7)

Tue May 8, 2018, 03:00 PM

50. The important thing is that you have the opportunity to tell others they goofed.

The important thing is that you have the opportunity to tell others they goofed. I'm sure were it sincere, the criticism will even go to the appropriate organization.

But I kinda doubt it will get that far... more often than not, we just like to advertise how clever we pretend to be. I'm not sure that I'd want to live under such conditions, however...

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:00 PM

10. And you know that how?

There's 10,000's of people currently on this planet on artificial breathing support, but this is in no way synonymous with all of them being brain-dead.

I've signed off on donating my organs 'in the event of death' quite regularly at the Motor Vehicle Dept, and I was certainly sentient at the time, and thus far from brain death.

The point some people are making here is that this 'brain-death' claim is being misreported, as such, an apparent layperson's (forgive me if I'm wrong on that) that 'such and such doesn't happen unless someone is officially, formally declared brain-dead' does not make an entirely convincing argument in and of itself, unless you have legitimate expertise in the subject at hand.

No offense intended.

This is the DU member formerly known as mr_lebowski.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #10)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:15 PM

14. I know that because of what the mother wrote on her FB page.

On another day, a brain scan showed no brain waves, according to her. On the day he woke up, they had already gotten her consent for donating the organs to five people, and were about to hook him up for a final brain wave test, when his hand and feet moved.

From her Facebook page:

March 22

He has had two crainiatamy surgeries and died 4 times at one time for 15 min. The last time they brought him back he had no brain waves a damaged brain stem and his heart only beat because the adrenalin and even then his vitals were 40over20 and his body temp was 81....they said the next time his heart stopped they had to let him die....this was a saterday....or I could sign a paper to donate his organs to save five other kids....and they would keep hitting him with adrenaline till monday....so I signed it....his eyes were solid black and dry and I knew he would not hesitate to save 5 more lives....the next day I got a call....they canceled the final brain wave test....right before they hooked him up his hand moved Then his feet...so they looked at his eyes and they were back....he had blue eyes....now they are green with small white specks like glitter...they say when you look upon god...pigment changes...and my baby was in heaven for a whole day....he is a miracle...they say no one has ever came back from complete death of the brain brain stem and heart....but god did for my son what he did for his own....and I am so honored to have him back....this is our testimony



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Response to pnwmom (Reply #14)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:08 PM

19. If he were officially declared brain dead, they wouldn't be planning to run more brain wave tests on

him.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #19)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:15 PM

20. It would make sense that they'd take more than one brain scan

before taking such a momentous step.

But in the meantime, they were telling his mom he was brain dead, as evidenced by the lack of brain waves and other clinical signs. That final brain wave test was supposed to confirm what they already thought.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #20)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:17 PM

22. there is a set of steps that must be taken before someone is officially declared brain dead.

I don't believe he was officially declared brain dead, since they were still planning to run tests when he started moving. I don't know what else to say about this.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #22)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:20 PM

24. Why does this matter???? They told the parents he was brain dead. They had a brain scan

that showed no brain waves.

Whether or not he was "officially" brain dead is beside the point. He wasn't brain dead and he's not a vegetable. They were wrong.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #24)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:36 PM

28. Seriously?

You think it doesn't matter in case of organ donation? They are just taking organs willy nilly?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #28)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:45 PM

31. No, I don't think that. But if they had done the final brain wave test the night before,

or even hours earlier, he might be dead today.

According to the mother's statement, it was his movements while they were preparing to do the final scan that made them stop.

Unfortunately, none of this is as scientifically perfect as we would like it to be. This was a very close call and he and his family were very, very lucky.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #31)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:48 PM

33. I believe they have to wait a certain period of time after a traumatic brian injury before declaring

someone brain dead. The reason, after traumatic injury brain swells. When swelling goes down, brain activity could potentially resume.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #22)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:41 PM

29. You are right about steps taken....

my husband was declared brain dead. He was on a ventilator. In New York State there are a series of tests that are run, I recall them being 6 steps, to declare the person officially dead. All steps must be met. It took 48 hours to declare him dead when he met all the criteria. He had absolutely no movement, brain activity or breathing on his own. He was a organ donor and many forms had to be filled out. It is a very traumatic experience to deal with brain dead. I'm very surprised they declared her son brain dead. How can you be dead for 15 minutes, as she said and come out of it with no brain damage, it isn't possible.

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Response to CatMor (Reply #29)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:42 PM

30. He has brain damage, sounds pretty severe.

He has had multiple surgeries and sounds like he has to have more.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #30)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:57 PM

35. I didn't realize that because the article said....

he remembered how it happened but couldn't remember after that. Someone severely brain damaged wouldn't remember how it happened. There just seem to be some inconsistencies in the statements. Much different than what we went through with my husband being brain dead.

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Response to CatMor (Reply #35)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:01 PM

37. Watch his video. He is walking and talking now, and he is making sense when he talks.

He is aware of his limitations, though, and he is having seizures.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #37)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:28 PM

39. I know that he is walking and talking.

But since he had to have multiple surgeries and is having seizures he didn't come out of this unscathed.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #39)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:47 PM

41. i was answering someone else. You're right, he didn't come out unscathed.

But his doctors predicted he'd at best be a vegetable, based on their clinical observations and the initial scan. He and his family were very lucky he moved his hand and feet when he did.

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Response to CatMor (Reply #29)

Tue May 8, 2018, 04:02 PM

51. I'm sorry about your husband, and grateful to him and to you for his being an organ donor

I'm really sorry that you both had to go through that. He left a wonderful legacy.

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Response to renate (Reply #51)

Tue May 8, 2018, 06:01 PM

53. Thank you so much .......

It is comforting to know he lives on. Even skin for burn victims and bones for research are taken along with the organs.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #20)

Tue May 8, 2018, 02:38 PM

49. She seems to have Jesus on the brain...

I suspect it's more like...

He's most likely brain dead and if we confirm it, do you agree to donate his organs?

No miracles here

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:48 PM

6. +1...

Science reporting in most media is absolute shit.

Good comment.

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #6)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:55 PM

9. They correctly reported that she was asked to sign the organ donation papers,

because the doctors told her he was brain dead.

I don't think this is the fault of the reporters.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:08 PM

12. Maybe there's not quite the association with 'official brain-death' and 'being asked to sign papers'

... as you are asserting here?

The article even says 'apparent brain death' ... perhaps parents are asked to sign the forms in the case of 'appearance of brain-death', because it's likely that once that declaration is actually formally made, they do not wish to burden the parents further with grisly details of that nature? Is that possible?

Unless you are positive that this is not the case, in which case, by all means, feel free to elaborate upon your bona-fides in making that assertion. Not saying you're wrong, just curious how you are this certain?
This is the DU member formerly known as mr_lebowski.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #12)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:16 PM

15. It probably says apparent brain death because, obviously, he's alive now.

But she reports that at least one brain scan showed no brain waves.

See post #14, above.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #15)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:26 PM

26. The thing people take issue with is the click-bait headline, where it says 'brain-dead' ...

Not 'apparently brain-dead'.

You see, 'brain-dead' has a LEGAL MEANING, whereas 'apparently brain-dead, where you maybe sign organ donation documents' ... does not. Other than the promise if the person IS ever declared dead or brain-dead, their organs will be donated.

The implication, should one just read the headline, or even the whole article w/o a very deep understanding of 'how these things work' ... is that 'the scientists (aka doctors in this case) were WRONG, and were about to rip the liver out of a 13 year old kid who was actually just fine.'

You see how many readers might 'make that assumption', in retrospect?

From there, there's all kinds of additional WRONG assumptions that a sizable portion of the population will make about what happened here, , further illogical extrapolations like 'well why should we believe in climate change if scientists can't even get this kind of thing right?' ... and that's tip of the iceberg afa that goes.

So I think that may be the disconnect here between the people mentioning how irresponsible this was, vs. your assessment of the situation. Fair enough?
This is the DU member formerly known as mr_lebowski.

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Response to longship (Reply #3)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:38 PM

40. But wait this is a FOX NEWS report. Right? I'd first verify that this really even happened.

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Response to The Wielding Truth (Reply #40)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:48 PM

43. This came from People magazine. Fox also covered it and put the video on TV.

And the mother has posted extensively on Facebook.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #43)

Tue May 8, 2018, 12:15 PM

47. Oh, People Magazine? Well, never mind



Look, he wasn't brain dead. He wasn't declared brain dead. This is typical shitty media reporting as multiple people have tried to explain.

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Response to kcr (Reply #47)

Tue May 8, 2018, 01:59 PM

48. There is no one standard of brain death. Different states have different standards,

and some hospitals are better at following the standards than others.

Research shows there is wide variability in how brain death is determined. It's not the simple, cut and dry measure that some people seem to think.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:01 PM

11. I believe he will get the chunk of skull back

It is in the freezer which seems common in cases of brain swelling.
A local guy had a chunk of his skull removed for brain swelling and the hospital lost it. He had no insurance if I remember right and was sent home with a big dent in his head.

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Response to sarah FAILIN (Reply #11)

Sun May 6, 2018, 08:29 PM

17. Oh no!!!

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #17)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:47 PM

42. Here is a video

The pics are pretty creepy. Editing to keep this from showing without you choosing to see it so you would have to follow the link.
www.you tube.com/watch?v=eKNKGqfN8vc|

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2018, 10:43 AM

45. A clinical neurologist responds.

The Waking Dead

Amid a continuous stream of terrible science news reporting, this one stands out from MSN: ‘Miracle’ Boy Wakes After Parents Sign Organ Donation Papers and Days of Being Brain-Dead. Actually the story is based on a local Fox news report. Everyone involved in these stories should be placed in the journalists penalty box.

This is a standard fluff narrative that comes up regularly – the person who wakes unexpectedly from a coma, or better yet, after being declared brain dead. There is a common pattern to the stories – you never get enough details to know what actually happened, but what details you do get do not hang together.

The basic facts of the case are this, 13-year-old Trenton McKinley of Mobile Alabama was injured in a dune buggy accident. He suffered severe head injury. Apparently his prognosis was so poor at one point that the doctors talked with his parents about organ donation, and they agreed that if his heart stopped they would go through the organ donation procedure. In other words, they would harvest his organs.

However, before that happened Trenton began to show signs of improvement. He started to move, and then to become conscious. He is now in rehab, able to talk, and to walk with assistance.

While I am very happy for Trenton and his family, this is not an unusual story. Nothing out of the ordinary has occurred here. As far as I can tell (again, from the sketchy details) the only thing that made this even newsworthy was the mother’s misinterpretation of events through the filter of her emotion and religious faith.


Much more at link.


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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2018, 10:53 AM

46. If he was alert & talking, he wasn't ever brain dead

I've worked with organ donor organizations. They don't take organs from people who have a chance at recovery.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2018, 04:04 PM

52. Oops. Sorry. This was two days ago, and I wasn't the first or even the tenth to post what I posted.

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