These are the faces and stories of people who were diagnosed brain dead and lived to tell the tale
Diagnosed "Brain Dead" in January 2013 at only three weeks old. He has made a near complete recovery with only mild complications.
CW: Article involves photos of infant Harrison in the ICU
Declared "Brain Stem Dead" in March 2021, he started breathing on his own hours before his organs were to be harvested for donation. Today he's playing football (soccer) and basketball.
Diagnosed "Brain Dead" in September 2011, after being taken off life support, she started breathing on her own. She graduated high school in 2015 with the rest of her class, and has been living a normal life.
Pastor Ryan Marlow
Diagnosed "Brain Dead" in August 2022, Pastor Marlow's wife pushed for second opinions and additional testing. After being seen by a specialist the initial diagnosis was withdrawn.
George Pickering III
Declared brain dead in January 2015, George's father, while drunk, staged a siege in the hospital after believing the hospital "moved too fast". After a three hour siege with the police, George started responding by moving his hand.
Raleane “Rae” Kupferschmidt
1942 - 2015
Declared "Brain Dead" in February 2008 at 65 years old, Raeleane's family had taken her home and were making funeral arrangements when she responded to questions after signs of life, and made a near complete recovery. She passed away peacefully in 2015 from old age.
Colleen S. Burns
1969 - 2011
Diagnosed "brain dead" after an attempted overdose in 2009, she was never given adequate testing at the hospital, and awoke on the operating table minutes before her organs were harvested. Sadly, she passed away in 2011 of depression.
Declared "Brain Dead" in February 2008 after only two days in the hospital, his parents refused to accept the diagnosis, and demanded a second opinion. After four doctors confirmed the diagnosis, the family still refused to give up, and two weeks later, Steven woke up.
Diagnosed "Brain Dead" in March 2018, his parents had signed papers for his organ donation in order for the hospital to continue life support for viable organ harvest. The day before the harvest surgery he started showing signs of life and began a long recovery.
Diagnosed brain dead after being attacked on a night out in April 2022, his family asked doctors to delay the organ donation for a week so James’ friends and family could say goodbye. Waiting the few extra days lead to James waking up, despite his diagnosis.