'Miracle' Boy Comes Back to Life Right After Parents Give Their Consent to Donate His Organs

Trenton McKinley brain injury
Money to help trenton/Facebook

If you ask Jennifer Nicole Reindl, there's only one word that describes her boy: a miracle. That's because her son regained consciousness after a massive trauma that left him brain-dead for months. Despite barely breathing and the consistent lack of brain activity, Trenton McKinley shocked both doctors and his family when he came back to life -- just after his parents signed paperwork allowing his organs to be donated and doctors prepared to take him off life support. 

  • Thirteen-year-old McKinley from Mobile, Alabama, suffered severe brain injuries after a dune buggy accident.

    According to Fox10, McKinley was playing at his friend's house two months ago when he and a 4-year-old were riding in a utility trailer. His friend was driving a dune buggy that was pulling the cart when he hit the breaks quickly. This caused it to flip and as McKinley tossed the toddler in the grass, he got caught in the flipping trailer. Afterward, McKinley clung to life in the hospital

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  • He fractured his skull in seven places and died multiple times, according to his mom.

    Reindl shared on a Facebook fund-raising page that McKinley died four different times after the accident. "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 of the adrenaline," she wrote. 

    McKinley's kidneys also started failing due to the lack of oxygen from his cardiac arrest, and doctors warned his family that the outlook was bleak. "When he came back, they said he would never be normal again," she told Fox10. "They told me the oxidation problems would be so bad to his brain, that he would be a vegetable if he even made it."

  • On March 17, his family made the heartbreaking decision to donate his organs.

    "[Doctors] said the next time his heart stopped they had to let him die ... or I could sign a paper to donate his organs to save five other kids... so I signed it..." she wrote on Facebook. "His eyes were solid black and dry and I knew he would not hesitate to save five more lives..."

  • But the day before doctors planned to pull the plug, McKinley shocked everyone.

    The very next day, just before doctors prepared to take him off life support, he began showing signs of mental cognition by moving his hand and foot. "They looked at his eyes and they were back .... he had blue eyes...." she wrote on Facebook. "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...."

    Yet, McKinley is making a remarkable recovery and is now strong enough to tell the world himself what it was like while he was dead -- and visiting heaven. "I was in an open field walking straight," he told Fox10. "There's no other explanation but God. There's no other way. Even doctors said it."

  • He's lost 50 pounds and only has half of his skull, but McKinley is now walking and recovering back home.

    Since his accident, McKinley has had three brain surgeries, and half of his skull is frozen at the hospital. It will be reconnected during a future operation, but in the meantime, this teen hasn't lost his sense of humor and is cracking jokes as he works toward his recovery. "I said I could turn sideways and put salsa in there and eat chips and dip out of my head," he joked to Fox10. "No more washing dishes for me!"