Doctors prepare to remove accident victim’s liver only to discover she’s still using it

A teenage girl in a coma after a catastrophic  car crash came round just as doctors were about to declare her brain  dead.

Carina Melchior had had life support  withdrawn on the advice of medics and was being prepared for organ  donation.

But to the astonishment of staff at the  Aarhus Hospital, in Denmark, the 19-year-old suddenly opened her eyes and  started moving her legs.

Miracle: Doctors had turned off the life support machines when Carina Melchior woke up from her coma

Miracle: Doctors had turned off the life support  machines when Carina Melchior woke up from her coma

She is now making a good recovery at a  rehabilitation centre and is able to walk, talk and even ride her horse  Mathilde.

Her family is now suing the hospital for  damages, claiming that doctors had been desperate to harvest her body  parts.

‘Those bandits in white coats gave up too quickly because they wanted an organ donor,’ her father Kim told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

The family’s lawyer Nils Fjeldberg said that  Ms Melchior keeps asking if doctors were trying to kill her.

‘Of course this is a great trauma,  both for  her and her parents who were convinced that there was nothing  else that could  be done and agreed to donate her organs,’ he told the  newspaper.

Hospitalised: When her brain activity began to fade, doctors believe there was very little chance of her surviving, and if she did she would be in a persistent vegetative state

Hospitalised: When her brain activity began to fade, doctors believed there was very little chance of survival, and if she ever was to recover, she would be in a persistent vegetative state

Ms Melchior, now 20, crashed her car in  October last year.

She was in hospital for three days  before  doctors realised her brain activity was fading and consulted her  family about  stopping treatment.

It was at this point they agreed to donate  her organs.

In a documentary about her life called ‘The  girl who wouldn’t die’, Carina says she is convinced she will  recover and that  hopes to move in to her own flat in the future.

‘And I will be working as a graphic designer  and be able to ride Mathilde properly,’ she said.

No hope: Carina was in a coma after a car accident and when doctors told her parents she would not wake up it was decided her life support be turned off

No hope: After speaking to her parents it was decided  that the apparatus which kept her breathing was to be turned off and organ  donation was prepared

Awake: The family had already said goodbye when the hospital called and said Carina had opened her eyes

Awake: The family had already said goodbye when the  hospital called and said Carina had opened her eyes

The case has sparked a public debate  in  Denmark about donations and end-of-life treatments, with registered  donors  withdrawing consent in fear of doctors acting too quickly.

The Danish government is drawing up  new  guidelines to prevent doctors from making preparations to remove  organs until  the patient is officially declared clinically dead.

However, medical experts say the  preparations made before a patient is declared brain dead are vital to  ensure  that correct matches are made between organ donors and receivers.

Carina before the accident in 2011
Before: A photograph showing Carina before the accident
Before: Photographs of Carina aged 19, before the  horrific car accident in October 2011
Accident: Carina was driving her car in October last year when she had an accident and flipped her car

Accident: Carina was driving her car in October last  year when she came off the road and flipped her car

One Danish doctor who spoke to  MailOnline  said it was an unfortunate case of miscommunication between  Carina’s family and  the doctors at Aarhus.

‘The story says a lot about the  importance  of communication in a doctor-patient relationship,’ the  doctor said. ‘If the  doctors had expressed themselves differently, the  parents would not have felt  so maltreated.’

‘From a medical point of view, no mistakes  have been made. The girl was never declared brain-dead, that was never the case.

‘In fact, the doctors saved her life  with  the treatment they gave her.

‘And they were not going to ‘take’ her organs, it was merely a conversation about organ donation if she would  become  brain dead.’

The doctors at Aarhus hospital has  apologised for the failures in communication during Carina’s treatment  and  have said they made a mistake.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s