One thing I've always been proud of being is a registered organ donor. Why wouldn't anyone be one? If you can save a life after you don't need your organs anymore, that just seems like the right and honorable choice to make. But then you hear something like this! A woman at a hospital in New York had died and was about to have her organs harvested when -- the "dead" woman opened her eyes! Lord have mercy, that's some scary ass shit.
The 41-year-old woman, Colleen S. Burns, had reportedly been admitted to the hospital following a drug overdose. She was pronounced brain dead. However, a nurse performed a reflex test and found Burns' toes was still reacting, and nurses also noticed that her nostrils flared, she was breathing independently, and her lips and tongue were moving.
For some head-smackingly bizarre reason, she was nevertheless prepped for surgery for organ harvesting. She was even given a sedative -- even though she was thought to be dead?! (Hello, the dead probably don't need sedatives!)
And then, all of a sudden, Burns opened her eyes. Finally, the surgeons backed off with their scalpels. Shudder.
The woman's mother said that her daughter wasn't even upset about almost losing her life to a mistake -- because she had been suicidal anyway. Tragically this brush with death didn't change Burns' mind about hastening her own, and she later committed suicide. No word on whether her organs were harvested for real this time.
The hospital has reportedly been investigated and fined. But frankly this makes me kind of worried. Are doctors so eager for new organs that they're ready to jump in there and start pulling them out even if you might still need them? It's almost enough to make me rethink my donor card.
But I've read too many miracle stories about people's lives being saved because of organ donors. I think the chances of something happening like with this woman are a lot less than the chances of saving someone's life with your donation.
Even so ... gives you the chills, right?
Are you an organ donator? Does this make you think twice about it?
Image via Peretzp/Flickr