List of Brain Dead Patients Who've Recovered

Brain dead means not dead. Don't trust that diagnosis: A surgeon would have cut out the eyes of "brain dead" 14-year-old Taylor Hale of Iowa if she hadn't awakened in time. A man from Mississippi was being shipped to the morgue when he began kicking his way out of his body bag. Expanded from an earlier list published by, Bob Enyart and Fred Williams' broadcast their most important "List Show" yet. Google: brain dead people who recover. You'll probably find us ranked #1 out of a million pages. And American Right To Life is linking to today's program.

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Real Science Radio's list of "brain dead" patients who've recovered tells shows that doctors and hospitals are sometimes dead wrong.

  • Trenton McKinley: Brain dead means not dead.
    Go Trenton!
    March 2018 - Thirteen-year-old Trenton McKinley of Alabama recovered and is doing well after doctors pronounced him "brain dead" and "his organs were matched to five children who needed them", never mind the fact that he needed them himself.
  • August 2016 - Nineteen days after her car flipped over, the doctors of 22-year-old Sam Hemming were about to give up on her because she was obviously “brain dead” "with no hope of recovery". Yet moments before she would likely have died from their withdrawing her care, Sam wiggling her toe. From there, fighting back, she made a tremendous recovery in only weeks. Mental and physical exercise has reprogrammed the undamaged side of her brain! (The only sad part of this story is that Sam still plans on becoming a lawyer! :)

    Des Moines Blankety Blank Children's Hospital harvests the organs of living children, cuts out their eyes, etc.
  • May 2015 - In Des Moines, Iowa as reported by USA Today, "Taylor's brain sank part way into her spinal canal. No one comes back from that, the doctors told Taylor's mother, Stacy, and her father, Chuck Hale. Nothing more could be done. Their daughter was brain dead. It was time to make arrangements to take her off life support and discuss organ donation. ...  Taylor Hale, considered brain dead by science, awoke from her coma. ... " So the staff doctors will harvest organs, cut out the eyes, etc., of living children at the Des Moines Blank Children's Hospital, hereafter known as Blankity Blank Hospital. See also this, this, this, this, and this.
  • Texas' Tomball Regional where brain dead means not dead.January 2015 - George Pickering, a 27-year old Texan, was pronounced brain dead by doctors at the Tomball Regional Medical Center when his father threatened to shoot himself if anyone disconnected his son from life support. During the standoff with police, the son repeatedly squeezed his father's hand, and then woke up later that evening, has made a strong recovery, and in April was baptized after converting to Christianity.

  • July 2013 - A New York woman who was pronounced ‘brain dead’ by doctors unexpectedly awoke just as her organs were about to be removed for transplant.
  • October 2012 - A documentary titled “Pigen der ikke ville dø” (“The girl who refused to die”), aired on Danish TV, telling the story of 19-year-old Carina Melchior, who awoke after doctors declared her "brain dead" and had approached the family about considering donating her organs.
  • April 2012 - Doctors declared british teen Stephen Thorpe "brain dead," telling the father that the boy would never recover from a serious car accident. Despite pressure from the doctors, the father would not consent to allow the boy’s organs to be donated. With the help of other doctors, five weeks later Thorpe left the hospital, having almost completely recovered.
  • July 2011 - Madeleine Gauron, a Quebec woman — identified as viable for organ donation after doctors diagnosed her as "brain dead" — surprised her family and physicians when she recovered from a coma, opened her eyes, and began eating.
  • May 2011 - An Australian woman declared “brain dead” regained consciousness after family fought for weeks doctor recommendations that her ventilator be shut off.
  • February 2008 - 65-year-old Raleane Kupferschmidt was taken home to die after relatives were told by doctors that she was "brain dead" from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. The family had already begun to grieve and plan for her funeral when she suddenly awoke and was rushed back to the hospital.
  • March 2008 - In one particularly chilling case, 21-year-old Zack Dunlap, who was declared "brain dead" following an ATV accident, recounted how he remembers hearing doctors discussing harvesting his organs. Zack showed signs of life only moments before he was scheduled to be wheeled into the operating theater to have his organs removed. One of Zack’s relatives provoked the reaction by digging a pocketknife under his fingernail.
  • May 2008 - A Virginia family was shocked but relieved when their mother, Val Thomas, woke up after doctors declared her ‘brain dead’. Doctors had not detected brain waves for more than 17 hours, but kept the woman breathing on a respirator. The family was discussing organ donation options for their mother when she suddenly woke up and started speaking to nurses.
  • June 2008 - A Parisian whose organs were about to be removed by doctors after he had "died" of a heart attack, revived on the operating table only minutes before doctors were to begin harvesting his organs.
  • More: See from the Netherlands by Hans Stolp, The Big Lie: Brain death is not dead and see sources on this page of Arie Bos, Thinking Outside the Brain Box. And from Art Berkhout posting beneath our YouTube video: "Many more survivors. Netherlands: the father of Femke Dreessen, Jan Kerkhoffs in 1992, 2005 Esme Feenstra, 1991 Dick van der Heijden, Rosa Smalen 2018, other countries: Abigail Kopf 2016 Michigan, Colleen Burns 2009 Cyracus New York, Talyor Hayle 2011 Iowa, Jimmi Fttze 2014 Gotenburg Denmark, Angely Lieby 2009 Strassburg France, Jenny Haman Illionois, Trenton Mckinley 2018 Mobile Alabama [Thanks Art. We've just added Trenton. See above.] T Schott marz 2018 Ohmaho nebraska, Steven Thorpe 2008 Warwickshire GB, Beatrice Way 2011 Ugley-Essex GB, Kaleb Crook Rathby leiztershire GB, Brendice Becker 2007 Calcary Canada, Shane Becker 2007 Vancouver Who will be next?"

Related News Items

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* LifeSiteNews: This important list was initially begun by LifeSiteNews.comthe most trustworthy pro-life news outlet.

* "Brain Dead" man recovers; writes book: From the Belfast Telegraph, "Jonathan Fisher is a survivor of an Addisonian crisis... His mother ignored medical advice to switch off his life-support system as doctors believed he was brain dead. However, convinced he could recover after noticing that he was reacting to her with the occasional slight movement of his little finger she refused to give up on her son. Now — against all the odds — he has made a remarkable recovery and has regained many of the skills lost as a result of his condition."

Post-recovery Martin with his wife
Post-recovery: Martin & his Mrs.

* "Vegetable" recovers; writes book: For the story of a man named Martin Pistorius, judged a "vegetable" until he woke up twelve years later, see this January 2015 report on NPR.

* FORGET BRAIN DEAD -- Dead Dead: doesn't even always mean dead. "If 'dead' can be so spectacularly wrong," warns Bob Enyart, "then your family shouldn't trust the 'brain dead' diagnosis." Consider...

* 2014 Polish woman wakes up in mortuary: Janina Kolkiewicz spent 11 hours in cold storage in a mortuary before workers noticed her moving inside her body bag, and returned her home to her family, where she complained of being "cold" but otherwise "fine", reports the BBC.

* 2014 U.S. man wakes up in morgue in body bag: An American man wasn't pronounced "brain" dead, but dead dead. Hospital workers in Lexington, Mississippi zippered him into a sack and shipped to the morgue where he freaked out the workers preparing to embalm him by kicking his way out of his body bag. When Walter Williams actually did die, his nephew told a TV reporter, "I think he's gone this time." Shesh. If a nurse, a doctor, a coroner, and other hospital staff could get "dead" so very wrong, one would hope that the medical industry could have more humility before God regarding patients who are noticeably breathing.

* 2015 Buried Honduran wakes up in coffin in cemetery: London Telegraph reports that a woman thought to be dead awoke to scream for help in the cemetery from within her coffin.

* 2017 Indian woman cremated while still alive: In an even worse case, a still living woman was declared dead and then cremated. According to the London Telegraph, doctors at Sharda hospital in northern India declared 24-year-old Rachna Sisodia dead. However, an autopsy after her partial cremation on a traditional funeral pyre found ash in her respiratory tract. A hospital spokesperson told the Hindustan Times: "This happens when someone is burnt alive. The particles go inside with the breath. If a person is dead, such particles cannot reach the lungs and windpipe. So the doctors concluded that the woman was burnt alive on the pyre."

* 2018 Spanish man starts snoring on his autopsy table: So again, forget brain dead. Dead dead doesn't even always mean dead. Three doctors declared Gonzalo Jimenez, 29, of Oviedo, Spain dead. CBS News reports that workers put him on an autopsy table. Then while the pathologist was preparing to cut into him, he began snoring. When Gonzalo finally woke up, he immediately asked to see his wife, which would probably be taken as a sign of life even by the hardest organ harvester.

* HORROR OF HORRORS: Forget "brain dead", doctors sometimes even get a coma wrong. From the Daily Mail by Allan Hall...

Man trapped in 23-year 'coma' reveals horror of being unable to tell doctors he was conscious. A car crash victim has spoken of the horror he endured for 23 years after he was misdiagnosed as being in a coma when he was conscious the whole time. Rom Houben, trapped in his paralyzed body after a car crash, described his real-life nightmare as he screamed to doctors that he could hear them - but could make no sound. 'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46, who doctors thought was in a persistent vegetative state [BE: an inherently dehumanizing term]. Doctors used a range of coma tests before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was 'extinct'. [T]op neurological expert Dr Steven Laurey... believes there may be many similar cases of false comas around the world...

[Rom] now has a special device above his bed which lets him read books while lying down. Mr Houben said: 'I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me - it was my second birth. I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy my life now that people know I am not dead.'

Dr Laureys' new study claims that patients classed as in a vegetative state are often misdiagnosed. 'Anyone who bears the stamp of "unconscious" just one time hardly ever gets rid of it again,' he said. The doctor, who leads the Coma Science Group and Department of Neurology at Liege University Hospital... plans to use the case to highlight what he considers may be similar examples around the world. Dr Laureys said: 'In Germany alone... an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people a year remain trapped in an intermediate stage - they go on living without ever coming back again.' Supporters of euthanasia and assisted suicide argue that people who have lain in persistent vegetative states for years should be given the opportunity to have crucial medical support withdrawn because of the 'indignity' of their condition. But there have been several cases in which people judged to be in vegetative states or deep comas have recovered. Twenty years ago, Carrie Coons, an 86-year-old from New York, regained consciousness after a year, took small amounts of food by mouth and engaged in conversation. Only days before her recovery, a judge had granted her family's request for the removal of the feeding tube which had been keeping her alive. ... Read more here.

* Swedish man hears doctors urging the harvesting of his organs: Doctors in Sweden discussed organ donation within earshot of Jimi Fritze as he lay in hospital after a stroke. To the doctor's shocking surprise, Fritze could hear every word they said. However, he couldn't object because he couldn't move. He had suffered a stroke, and after the doctors looked at a scan of his brain, they gave his family bad news, and claimed that "there was no hope," Fritze  said. Jimi Fritze said! As reported in Sweden by The Local, a dozen "members of his family came in to say goodbye to him [and] the doctors brought up the question of organ donation, which, as he would later underscore in an official complaint, Swedish doctors are not supposed to do until the patient has been diagnosed as brain dead. Frtize heard every word, but had no way to get the doctors' or his family's attention. It would take three days until he got a second opinion, as another doctor returned from holiday. "She looked at my scans and said 'This doesn't look too bad' and told the staff to give me cortisone to bring down the swelling in my brain," Fritze recalled. "But even so, my girlfriend and my sister had to fight with the night nurse to give me cortisone, and this was just one day before they had said they would make a final 'chance of survival' assessment." While he then improved, it would take another three weeks before he could communicate with his family. more...

* Case of brain activity after death: Researchers recorded significant brain activity a full ten minutes after doctors declared a patient dead. As reported in ScienceAlert, doctors could detect no pulse, no heartbeat, no pupil response to light, etc., yet sleep brain waves were detected. The moral of the story is that doctors should have far more humility and not declare people dead when they’re not. Don’t declare people brain dead when their body is functioning. Brain dead means not dead. The medical community as a whole has no humility before God. And that’s dangerous for them and could be lethal for you.

* Biomedical firm project exposes the truth: British outlets Mail Online and The Sun report on a biomedical technology firm working on neuro-regeneration that will do MRI's in Latin America on patients declared dead looking for the best candidates to revive consciousness. Bob Enyart points out that while doing an MRI on a two-pound pot roast would produce no results, this clinical effort exposes the truth, again, that brain dead means not dead. The moral of the story is that there is way more going on in the minds of so-called brain-dead patients than the medical community typically lets on.

Photo of Jahi McMath, precious girl who is not brain ded
Jahi McMath

* Jahi's doctor on RSR: On Real Science Radio, the founder of the NICU at the Children's Medical Center in St. Louis and clinical professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toledo spoke with Bob Enyart about young Jahi McMath. Dr. Paul Byrne, board-certified neonatologist and pediatrician, explained that Jahi McMath is not dead and that others have recovered from being diagnosed as "brain dead". See

* Little Dylan Walborn: See also for the four-year-old boy who was not dying, but who was handicapped, who was starved to death over a three-week period at the recommendation of Denver's Children's Hospital as documented by the Denver Post. Of course, if you starved to death a horse, or a dog, you would go to jail.

* The Undead Babies at Denver's Children's Hospital: reported on The Undead Babies at Colorado’s Children’s Hospital. Babies there who could be revived often are not. These are the doctors and "ethicists" who three years before this 2008 article had already intentionally starved to death little Dylan. This medical center helps so many families and saves so many kids, but that does not give Children's Hospital the right to kill others. And their pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia support for the death culture means that they are not to be trusted when they decide not to revive an "Undead Baby".

* 18 hours with no heartbeat... to full recovery: In April 2018, a 53-year-old Frenchman had been resuscitated 18 hours after his heart stopped while he had been walking outside in the cold. Though without a heartbeat for all that time, being revived upon warming him, the patient is headed for a "total recovery" believe doctors at Montpellier University Hospital, as reported by the London Times.

* Duty-to-Die Dick Lamm meets Bob: RSR co-host Bob Enyart participated on a panel discussion at the University of Denver which was moderated by former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm. Lamm, along with a DU law professor, and a Hemlock Society board member all claimed to only support euthanizing a patient if it were voluntary, for adults, and only for terminally ill patients. Bob Enyart pointed out to Lamm that they were all liars because not a one of them cared in the least or disagreed with Children's Hospital's high-profile decision, extensively reported (approvingly) by the Denver Post, to intentionally starving to Dylan Walborn. This was not voluntary. Four-year-old Dylan was not an adult. And the handicapped boy was not terminally ill.

* Also: Please check out the Zika-virus relevant case of Ana Carolina Caceres. And, thank you to Bethany Blakeney for your heartfelt comment about your Mom at our YouTube video. To help fight this battle, perhaps you can consider supporting (or BEL) and learning all you can from their stunning website!